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Board members disagree about county contracts

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 12th, 2013

CLINTON — County board members on Thursday debated the merits of reducing the length of its contracts with outside providers. The debate broadened from a discussion about the county’s contract with the managers of the Clinton Lake marina.

Board member Terry Hoffman asked the board to consider making contract durations no longer than the time span of any sitting county board. Board members are elected every two years. Essentially, half the board is replaced with each election cycle.

Hoffman said his interpretation was that the Illinois Supreme Court had, “not dealt with the issue of long term contracts.”

“So, I just kind of wanted to know what this board was thinking,” Hoffman said. He used the contract with the marina management company as one that spans multiple county board elections. Hoffman used information from research conducted by the assistant state’s attorney.

Board member David Newberg asked Hoffman to clarify if he meant the two-year duration should apply to any contract the county signs.

“Any contract …be it the marina, be it maintenance contract …two years, period,” Newberg asked.

Newberg cited some of the same research provided to board members.

“The attorney general also says here ‘the duration …may very’,” Newberg read. He said the attorney general issued an opinion that recommendations for the length of municipal contracts were suggestions rather than binding agreements.

For the complete article see the 03-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-12-2013 paper.

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