UPDATE ON SELECTION PROCESS FOR WARD 1 & 4 ALDERMANIC SEATS
Elmhurst, IL – Mayor Morley has completed his review of all applicants for the City’s 1st Ward and 4th Ward vacant aldermanic seats. The vacant seats became available following the mid-term resignation of Aldermen Mark Sabatino (Ward 1) and Kevin York (Ward 4). While many applicants were qualified and eligible for the vacant positions, Mayor Morley will be moving forward with his decision by seeking consent from City Council members within the next two weeks.
While not required by Elmhurst municipal code, Mayor Morley chose to have an “open call” for all eligible residents in the 1st and 4th Wards. Requests for applications were stated during public council meetings as well as in a press release. After reviewing all applicants, the Mayor then designates his appointee, with the advice and consent of City Council. Those chosen will serve as Alderman until the next election in Spring 2021.
As has been done in the past with mid-term vacancies of elected officials, there is a transparent application process which includes interviews and the review of applicants to identify any conflicts of interest. During the most recent process, staff noted that an applicant signed and entered into a Redevelopment Agreement (“RDA”) with the City of Elmhurst in 2017. The applicant/business owner received incentives for the redevelopment of property in a TIF District. In this case, the RDA provides for the payment by the City of $60,000 in incentives to the applicant’s business to partially subsidize the construction of their project, plus additional improvements in the estimated amount of $15,000 were also included.
As the terms in this RDA are currently active with the expiration date of 2028, the City Attorney has identified two conflicts:
- Pursuant to Illinois Municipal Code (state law) (Section 3-1-55-10), an individual is prohibited from holding office if there is an “Interest in Contracts.”As cited in Section 3.1-55-10, “A municipal officer shall not be financially interested directly in the officer’s own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in an contract, work, or business of the municipality or in the sale of any article whenever the expense, price or consideration of the contract, work, business or sale is paid either from the treasury or by an assessment levied by statute or ordinance.”
- In addition to the Illinois Municipal Code prohibition on “Interests in Contracts” by a municipal officer, the RDA between the City and the applicant contains a similar prohibition in Section 2.1 (W) of the agreement which states, “The Developer represents, warrants, and covenants that no member, official, officer, employee of the City, or any commission or committee exercising authority over the Project or the Property, or any consultant hired by the City or the Developer with respect thereto, owns or controls or has owned or controlled any interest, direct or indirect in the Project or any portion of the Property, or will own or control any interest in the Project…”
The same or similar language is included in redevelopment agreements between the City and incentive recipients.
After the situation was identified and reviewed internally, Mayor Morley contacted the applicant by telephone, and sent a letter from his desk to the applicant which included an attachment of a letter from the City Attorney clarifying the ineligibility as it relates to Illinois Municipal Code and the RDA language.
Mayor Morley states, “I sincerely appreciate all interest in the vacant positions and encourage all applicants to continue to seek opportunities to offer their time and talent to the City of Elmhurst.”
Items listed in this release are a matter of public record.