Atlanta: More small town shenanigans

By:  Diane Benjamin

This paragraph in the minutes of the June meeting of the Atlanta Il Public Library Board:


Bill Thomas is a Board member and the owner of the building next door to the library.  He previously got the library to rent the building from him, at this meeting the Board agreed to buy the building.

Anybody see a conflict of interest?  Appearance of a conflict?

First, the Illinois Supreme court has ruled that abstaining from voting is the same as voting “yea”:

Thus, a municipal legislator’s failure to vote either “yea” or “nay” on a proposed ordinance must be interpreted to have the same effect as either a “yea” or a “nay” vote.

That means Bill Thomas approved taxpayers leasing his building and at this meeting he agreed to not only sell his building, he agreed citizens needed to buy it.

What does the Illinois Municipal code say?  See  sect 3.1-55-10(a)

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 any 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.

The Library Board is meeting tonight at 6:30.  Citizens of Atlanta should be asking questions.  The State’s Attorney for Logan County should be answering them.

If found guilty, it’s a felony!  Actually, two felonies:  lease and purchase.







  1. Dawson Lake says:

    If you would have taken the time to meet Bill Thomas, you would see how ridiculous your story of this man is. We should all be so lucky.


    • Very funny! Thanks for playing.

      (50 ILCS 105/3) (from Ch. 102, par. 3)
      Sec. 3. Prohibited interest in contracts.
      (a) No person holding any office, either by election or appointment under the laws or Constitution of this State, may be in any manner financially interested directly in his own name or indirectly in the name of any other person, association, trust, or corporation, in any contract or the performance of any work in the making or letting of which such officer may be called upon to act or vote.


      • Silly us. Laws only apply to the serfs. Those who hold public office don’t have to trouble themselves with such things.


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