UPDATE: Six Members Of County Board Who Call Special Meeting Are No-Shows, Ogalla Issues Statement

The drama behind the 143rd Street project in Homer Glen may be nearing an end, but it comes after a group of six county board members who called a special meeting, failed to show up at the meeting they scheduled.

According to Will County officials, at the request of six members of the Will County Board, a Special Meeting was held on March 5 as an attempt by those members to challenge County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant’s ability to veto a resolution that opposed the 143rd Street expansion project.

The same members who requested the meeting, as well as the entire Republican Caucus of the Board, chose not to attend the meeting at the scheduled time. The meeting was gaveled in by County Executive Bertino-Tarrant and ended shortly afterwards due to lack of quorum. No explanation has been publicly provided for why the members who called for the meeting chose not to attend it, even though most were in the building for regularly scheduled committee meetings.

The meeting served as the opportunity for the County Board to challenge and attempt to override the County Executive’s veto. According to state law, a veto must be challenged at the next scheduled County Board meeting following a veto.

“It is unfortunate that the Board Members who called this special meeting failed to respect the time and voice of the residents who showed up,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “The members who are leading this charge are the same ones who have consistently voted in support of this project for years.”

UPDATE: The Chairwoman of the Will County Board, Judy Ogalla, has issued a statement to WJOL. It reads,

On March 5, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. County Board Leadership was presented with a  last-minute opinion from the State’s Attorney’s Office regarding the procedure for the
Special County Board Meeting scheduled for 10:45 a.m. that same day.

The bi-partisan members voting in favor of Resolution 24-27, Directing the Division of Transportation to Cease Moving Forward with the 143rd Street Expansion Road Project as Currently Planned, were unable to digest the information and determine the best course of action prior to the County Executive calling the Special meeting to order and declaring that there was not a quorum present to conduct the meeting.

There is nothing preventing the County Board bringing forward any and all issues regarding Resolution 24-27 at the next scheduled County Board meeting on March 21, 2024.

Resolution 24-27 signed by the County Executive on February 16, 2024, is effective until there is a legal opinion issued by the highest court in Illinois saying otherwise.