To the Editor:
Mark Kern, County Board Chairman, recently urged the board to reject (County Board member Craig) Hubbard's motion to reduce funding for the East St. Louis Board of Elections to $32,800 from $112,000 at a November meeting, on the grounds that the county is obligated under state law to pay the higher amount, it was reported.
However, the Illinois Election Code, Section 6-70, states "if the population is 25,000 or more but less than 40,000, the executive director shall receive a salary of not less than $8,000 per annum, and in such cities, villages, and incorporated towns, there may be employed one executive assistant director who shall receive a salary of not less than $6,000.00."
Throw in $2,400 per year each for three commissioners and we are talking about $21,200 in statutory requirements.
Yet, the (East St. Louis Board of Elections) executive director's salary was $59,774.00, plus a $200 a month car allowance. The assistant executive director was paid $36,740 and commissioners were paid $4,586, plus conferences in the 2011 budget. Considering the open door policy for vote fraud, funding the board salaries at the statutory minimum, or $21,200, would seem to be perfectly appropriate.
Hubbard's proposal of $32,800 was actually $11,600 in excess of the budget level that might trigger litigation. Perhaps Mr. Kern has not read the law recently, or ever for that matter, and this is just more voodoo politics where they make it up as they go along.
Please call Mark Kern at (618) 277-6600 to ask him to explain what law he is referencing. I am sending him a written FOIA request to that effect.
Matt Hawkins, President
East St. Louis Alliance for Change