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Oops

Thursday, Dec 12, 2019

* From the Joliet Township Government’s Facebook page, with emphasis added

* The Edgar County Watchdogs spotted it and posted about it

Everyone we showed this job opening announcement to said the same thing: “They can’t do that, it violates the law!”

Township Supervisor Vera says the part-time job requirements include: “Interested candidates must live in Joliet Township and must have voted in a Democratic primary election.”

We believe Joliet Township is violating the law by requiring prospective employees, such as assistants to the Clerk, to have voted in the Democrat Primary.

Sorry Republicans, Independents, Communists, Libertarians, and even those who decide not to vote at all – there are no jobs for you in Joliet Township.

I reached out to Joliet Township Supervisor Daniel Vera this morning and he told me since the deputy township clerk is “sworn in” and “performs the duties of the clerk in the absence of the clerk,” he was under the impression that the post needed to be filled by someone of the same party as the township clerk, who is a Democrat.

But, after the Watchdogs whacked them, Vera said he reached out to his attorney who said the obvious: This is not a Democrat-only job.

“We’ll be taking the ad down this afternoon,” Vera said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - Perrid - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    “post needed to be filled by someone of the same party as the township clerk”… why? I believe that he honestly thought this, no one who didn’t honestly think this was OK would put it in writing in public, but again, why would that be the law?


  2. - Shemp - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    Exhibit 4,562 as to why township government has run its course. It’s supposed to be another level of democracy, but it fails too often and there are too few available to keep it in check (media, voters, opposing candidates, etc.).


  3. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    This does not surprise me, I had a relative that worked for a suburban Township in the late 1980’s. Anyone calling for assistance was never put through to staff, instead they took down a persons name,phone, and address. The Township supervisor had staff lookup callers to see if they pulled a D or an R ballot in a recent primary. The list were paper so it was very inefficient - but the folks that pulled the right ballot got special treatment.


  4. - Powdered Whig - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Apparently Joliet Township does not have any in-house or contract labor and employment attorneys working for them.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    === But, after … whacked them, Vera said he reached out to his attorney who said the obvious: This is not a Democrat-only job.

    “We’ll be taking the ad down this afternoon,” Vera said.===

    For the love of Pete… hiring isn’t about what one thinks or doesn’t think is permissible, it’s what the law says.

    *Now* they consult an attorney.

    What a pathetic way to seem… thoughtful.

    How about this;

    Next time anyone thinks they’re doing right, but dunno, talk to your legal counsel. That’s why they’re there.


  6. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    Sangamon county operates the same way for republicans, they’re just smart enough not to put it in writing


  7. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:34 am:

    What is infuriating is the culture that allows people to make that assumption that the staff person must be a member of a political party.


  8. - Long Time R - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:37 am:

    And mysteriously the best qualified candidate will be a life long Hard D. Funny how that works isn’t it


  9. - Amateurs dude - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:45 am:

    Amateurs dude.


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    ==the culture that allows people to make that assumption==

    When an elected position resigns, such as the clerk, the person appointed ‘must’ be of the same political party. That is the law.

    The snafu here seems to be that because the title of the job contains clerk, that the requirements for elected position of clerk also applied to the deputy.

    It’s not as blatantly partisan as it appears, but it is sloppy not knowing how to run your own township correctly.

    If you want to watch the edgar county guys roll over and accept the clearly illegal in all circumstances activities the republicans do in another local township, simply google ‘edgar county plainfield township’.


  11. - Powdered Whig - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:53 am:

    === What is infuriating is the culture that allows people to make that assumption that the staff person must be a member of a political party. ===

    No - its not culture its incompetence. Any consultation with human resources or a labor and employment attorney would have provided clarity on this point. Who reviews these job postings before they go out? SMH


  12. - NoGifts - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    - Donnie Elgin– and what a shortsighted way to use the information. How are you going to encourage voters of the other party to join your side (even just locally) if you provide bad service to them. It would be far better to provide really good service and make it known that “our party is efficient and works for everyone.” :) Good advertising isn’t about selling to current customers.


  13. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 10:57 am:

    ==This does not surprise me, I had a relative that worked for a suburban Township in the late 1980’s. Anyone calling for assistance was never put through to staff, instead they took down a persons name, phone, and address. The Township supervisor had staff lookup callers to see if they pulled a D or an R ballot in a recent primary. The list were paper so it was very inefficient - but the folks that pulled the right ballot got special treatment. ==

    and

    ==Sangamon county operates the same way for republicans, they’re just smart enough not to put it in writing==

    Vera probably assumed - naively - that actually was the law because suburban Republicans only appointed Republicans to such positions since, well, forever.

    Vera was foolish and naïve enough to say the quiet part out loud.


  14. - Iggy - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    smooth move


  15. - Huh? - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    “in-house or contract labor and employment attorneys”

    They are called “State’s Attorney”.


  16. - Powdered Whig - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:19 am:

    === They are called “State’s Attorney” ===

    I don’t believe that the County State’s Attorney represents township governments. I might be wrong.


  17. - PublicServant - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    “Get over it”
    - Mick Mulvaney


  18. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    Huh?
    ““in-house or contract labor and employment attorneys””

    Well, to determine who that is, all we need to do is consult the township website. /s


  19. - SouthSide Markie - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:29 pm:

    I agree with all of the comments about this being sloppy and wrong and another good reason for the elimination of township government. However, anyone who has worked with small sized local governments knows that it is not economically feasible for them to have in-house counsel. Nor is it economically feasible to be incurring fees for calls to outside counsel every time a seemingly routine job posting or other day-to-day event occurs. Otherwise, the legal bills would devour the budget. The State’s Attorney does not provide legal advice to units of government. Doing so would likely cause a conflict because the State’s Attorney is charged with enforcing laws against municipalities.


  20. - Steve - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    Not saying it’s right, but wouldn’t a deputy clerk be the person in line to be clerk if something happened to the clerk? What’s the difference when we fill in unexpired terms from the same party?


  21. - Powdered Whig - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    === However, anyone who has worked with small sized local governments knows that it is not economically feasible for them to have in-house counsel. Nor is it economically feasible to be incurring fees for calls to outside counsel every time a seemingly routine job posting or other day-to-day event occurs. Otherwise, the legal bills would devour the budget. ===

    Don’t they have an HR Department with experience in government hiring?


  22. - Powdered Whig - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    === Not saying it’s right, but wouldn’t a deputy clerk be the person in line to be clerk if something happened to the clerk? What’s the difference when we fill in unexpired terms from the same party? ===

    If you look at the Facebook post, it appears that the position in question is a clerical/administrative position. Those are not the types of jobs where political affiliation can be taken into account.


  23. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    You wait until all the applications are in, and only then do you check the applicants’ names against your approved list.

    Day one stuff, people.

    – MrJM


  24. - NoGifts - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    =not economically feasible==
    there’s a statewide organization for township officials, you’d think they could give advice. https://www.toi.org/


  25. - Southside Markie - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 5:51 pm:

    == Don’t they have an HR Department with experience in government hiring? ==

    == there’s a statewide organization for township officials, you’d think they could give advice. https://www.toi.org/ ==

    These are not major or even mid-sized corporations. These are small units of government. Like small businesses, they don’t have HR Departments.

    My experience is that Township Officials of Illinois is a small organization that does lobbying for township issues and some training, but is not geared to be providing that kind of advice.

    In my opinion, the better argument is that all of this supports the elimination of township government in Illinois.


  26. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Dec 12, 19 @ 7:22 pm:

    Southside Markie–would that just result in responsibilities going to the county?


  27. - Anonymous - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 9:35 am:

    == would that just result in responsibilities going to the county? ==

    Yes, which would likely be able to absorb these functions at less cost using existing resources. Counties perform many of the functions of township government already.


  28. - SouthSide Markie - Friday, Dec 13, 19 @ 9:36 am:

    Sorry. Hit send before I put my name on that last post.


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