Statement by Village Trustee Carmen Rue
Village Board Reorganizational Meeting - April 7, 2008
I read the following statement prior to the Board's vote on whether to hire John Barbarite as Village Manager:
This is a hard vote for me.
I like John. I have known him many years. I have campaigned for him every time he has run for political office.
But this position should not be political.
Some want to rush into hiring without advertising, interviewing, defining a job description, saying what we require and what we will not tolerate in a Manager – not to mention salary, vacation, sick leave, vacation, benefits, or anything else.
I say give Equal Opportunity consideration to all applicants, not just this one man.
Hiring a hand-picked man, handing him this important job on a silver plate, is bad policy.
It is wrong.
It smells too much like political corruption.
The Board’s choice of a Manager is a serious thing that needs to be carefully discussed in public, not in closed meetings held in diners, or the smoke-filled back room of some store.
I talk to people around this Village every day, and I don’t think they like it.
If we vote to hire this man tonight, it will be a political pay-off. I don’t agree with that.
I always believed this was everything that John Barbarite was against!
I do not like the way John has pressured this Board (including trying to pressure myself) for this job, like it is his right to be the Manager – without any discussion by the Board.
Selecting a Village Manager is a Board decision, not a Mayor’s appointment.
No one is ever entitled to be Village Manager because of political favors or support.
If we hire anyone that way, we are selling out. And I am not ready to do that.
If you do, shame on you; and I am sure history will prove me right.
John Barbarite can apply, just like anyone, but he is not entitled to special preference because of favors or political support he has given.
Please join with me and vote to select our next Village Manager using the right process.
Text of Public Comment offered by Thomas Rue on April 8, 2008.