Originally Posted Online: Sept. 05, 2013, 10:37 pm
Last Updated: Sept. 06, 2013, 12:25 am

Cleveland wants former mayor's construction permits

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

CLEVELAND - Village officials have ordered former Mayor Jim White to stop building a pole barn in the floodplain.

Mr. White apparently has the appropriate permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Departments of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

The village does not have copies of those permits and has issued a "stop" order on the project.

Village attorney Graham Lee said he has sent Mr. White two letters, giving him 10 days to respond in a letter dated Aug. 19. Mr. Lee said Mr. White responded he was unaware of any violation, stating he had contacted Mayor Richard Waterman by phone and was told the village's building inspector would be contacting him that day but, in view of all the permits, Mayor Waterman didn't believe Mr. White need a village permit.

Mr. White also sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the village for the permits.

"He needs to provide them to us, rather than FOIA us for them," Mayor Waterman said Thursday night.

Mr. Lee said he will ask the court for permission to destroy the building if Mr. White does not produce the permits.

"This is silly. I don't like to see this for either side," Mr. Lee said. "He's being a scofflaw and I won't permit it any longer. If he forces me to take him to court, I'm going to make it expensive for him."

Mayor Waterman said he approached Mr. White to talk about it but was ordered off the property by police.

Village Clerk Shawna Duncan said she also had asked Mr. White to mail the permits to the village, but he told her Mayor Waterman needed to call him and come by his house to talk about it.

Mayor Waterman said he told Mr. White the building inspector will check the construction periodically to make sure it's just a barn. "He didn't have a problem with that," Mayor Waterman said.

Also on Thursday, Village Trustee Sherri Krogman accused former clerk Mike Erickson of posting online that she accosted children for skipping stones in the river, saying she would report them to the IDNR. Ms. Krogman denied confronting children and told Mr. Erickson to remove the charge immediately or answer to her attorney.

"I'm getting threats and a note left in my door and it's bull----," she said.

"I've never talked to anyone about skipping rocks," Ms. Krogman said."I'm asking you politely to remove it."

Cleveland officials also want the village's former attorney, Joseph Polaschek, to return all of the village's files. Trustees decided to deposit an $800 check from Mr. Polaschek's office in the general fund, even though it wasn't clear what the refund was for.

"If he returns the files it should explain what the $800 was for," said Trustee Krogman.

Trustees on Thursday also:

-- Raised compensation for village officials chosen in future elections -- $50 per month for the mayor, clerk and treasurer and $25 per month for trustees.

-- Tabled naming the village park after Ms. Krogman and Steve Ballegeer opposed naming them for a specific individual, although specific names were not discussed.

-- Decided to get prices for a used backhoe and possibly trade in the village's tractor.

-- Approved spending up to $750 for 10 new chairs for the village hall to replace existing ones that are breaking.

-- Approved a $250 donation to the Colona police/fire dinner.

-- Set trick-or-treat hours for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 and decided to discuss a possible village Halloween party at next month's meeting.