Bishop Hill mayor, clerk resign from posts

Carol Townsend
Neil Cooper (above) resigned his duties as mayor of Bishop Hill on Oct. 8. Mike Funke has been appointed acting mayor until the 2009 election.

Bishop Hill has a new acting mayor after the former mayor and clerk both resigned and walked out of the Oct. 8 village board meeting.

Clerk Pam Chenoweth read a statement to the board stating that she was tired of someone slandering her. She did not mention names.

Chenoweth also told the board they need to know the municipal code book and said that when she was absent from a recent meeting, no minutes were recorded. She also said she did not want to ever find out that someone has tampered with the records she’s taken in her three years as clerk.

Chenoweth left the meeting in tears.

Mayor Neil Cooper said he was busy with his out-of-town job and might as well resign, too. He said there are people in the village violating building codes. Cooper gathered up his books and said he didn’t have time for this and walked out of the meeting.

Mike Funke, the newest board member, was appointed by the board to serve as acting mayor until the 2009 election.

If anyone is interested in serving on the board until the next election or as clerk, they should contact Funke or another board member: Nore Larson, Wayne Johnson, Judith Gilbert, Wayne Ericson and Randy Anderson.

In other business:

•Bob Funke, was present and asked the board to not charge him a water bill for his camper, located at 204 E. Main, where his son, acting mayor Mike Funke, lives.

Bob Funke said he could sue the board for harassment since he’s done nothing wrong. He said his camper is not a motor home, according to the village ordinance. 

Ericson told Funke there are two residents on the same lot and each have a separate post office box.

“Can you prove I live in the camper?” Bob Funke asked.

Randy Anderson said the camper is not classified as a mobile home because Funke does not pay for mobile home tags.

The board voted 4-1 not to charge Funke a water bill. Gilbert, Johnson, Larson and Anderson voted to not charge Funke; Ericson voted otherwise. 

Bob Funke then filed a written complaint to the board on junk at Ericson’s residence, a camper on the Bishop Hill Heritage Association’s property, a combine on the village right-of-way and junk within 35 feet of an intersection.

The board tabled the matter.

Funke turned to Ericson and said, “I gave you a chance to keep your mouth shut and you didn’t, so here we go.”

Mike Funke told Ericson the village would give him 30 days to take care of the items.

•Gilbert said she feels it’s time that the board has a meeting agenda, and only takes action on items listed. The board felt this was a good idea and will start doing so at the November board meeting.

•The board noted they need to look hard at a generator when the power is out so they can still pump water for residents.

Mike Funke (seen here being sworn into the Bishop Hill Village Board in 2007) is acting as Bishop Hill mayor until the 2009 election, following Neil Cooper's resignation from the post on Oct. 8. Pam Chenoweth (seen swearing in Funke), also resigned Oct. 8 as village clerk.