When the village board convenes its council meeting Monday night, one commissioner’s chair will be vacant.
Rory Hoskins, commissioner of accounts and finance, is in Springfield for Gov. Pat Quinn’s inauguration ceremony. He wanted to phone in to attend Monday’s meeting, but, based on the opinion of Village Attorney Nick Peppers, that shouldn’t happen.
When Hoskins decided to attend the inauguration, he asked Village Administrator Tim Gillian if he could participate by calling in. Gillian contacted Peppers to ask his opinion on the matter, and, according to Gillian, Peppers “opined” that Hoskins not be allowed to weigh in by phone.
Hoskins was relying on a 2009 village ordinance that states commissioners can participate telephonically only if they are physically absent due to “official business.”
In Peppers’ opinion, Hoskins’ attendance of the inauguration does not constitute official business. Neither Gillian nor Hoskins could explain what the village defines as “official business.”
Peppers said he issued the opinion because Hoskins was not “required” to attend the inauguration, but Hoskins said he was there “to lobby on behalf of Forest Park … for resources.”
“The mayor had multiple invitations to attend the governor’s inauguration and turned them down,” Gillian said. “He didn’t feel that it was worthy to miss a meeting.”
No official ruling has been issued, but Gillian said a formal decision will probably be made by board members before the start of Monday’s meeting.