Candidate for Village President
Pontoon Beach, IL
I heard about this site from a friend and started looking at it every day or so. I have never responded,
but I believe its time. I will not respond to an online discussion with people hiding behind screen names,
if they have questions to ask me they can call me my telephone number is in my literature. I would at
that time be happy to set down and answer questions face to face.
It’s a shame I can’t just comment on what my party and I will do for Pontoon. But when people try to
smear my name so close to election, I have to address what has happened. Since it is to late to do a
mailing, I will have to tell the truth here and now.
As many of you know I challenged Mayor Denham to a debate, but he refuses. All I wanted to do was to
get the Village President candidates in front of a hall filled with village residents that would ask
questions and both candidates would answer their questions in public in an orderly fashion. This way,
issues could have been addressed first hand without all the rumors and untruths that are currently
circulating. It’s unfortunate that Mayor Denham would rather campaign in that fashion rather than debate
me. If you ask the Mayor a question and if the village attorney is beside him, the village attorney takes it
upon himself to answer the question/s. Why does he need someone to speak for him? Also, if you ask
the Mayor something, he responses I will check that out and get back at you later. I guess he has to
consulate the village attorney. Then the attorney in returns, bills the village and the taxpayers have to
pay the bill. Perhaps if I asked the Village Attorney to debate there would have been a debate.
I was on the Village Board from 1993-1997. I ran on the political ticket of the late Mayor Glenn Wilson.
Shortly after I was elected to the board certain issues started to surface. Please keep in mind that there
were 2 different political parties on the board each with 3 members plus the Village President. Yes, I
tried to do what was right and had success as long as I went along with certain board members. The
Village's problems with FEMA started to arise, which we had to clean up. Part of those problems was the
result of the Village issuing building permits without checking the FEMA maps. We had major problems
and we were about to lose the Villages participation in FEMA’s flood insurance program. We were put
on probation as long as we addressed the issues FEMA had and worked to clear them up. There were
problems with some members of the Board that did not understand FEMA’s flood plain map and wanted
to fight them on this, plus the fact they had a developer who was advising them in part because he
personally had a lot to lose. The residents don’t know to this day how many times we came to losing our
accreditation, and certain mortgages would have been at risk because they would not have been able to
keep their flood insurance that they were required to have. Losing their flood insurance would have put
their mortgages into default and/or foreclosure. Yes, I
fought to keep this from happening and the Village Board finally agreed to terms that FEMA gave us and
we remained on probation. It took years to get the problems cleared up and with the help and expertise
of the Building Inspector at that time, Bob Barthelemy, FEMA removed us from probation and placed
Pontoon back in good standing.
We had issues with a concrete street that was only a few years old where the concrete was cracking
and sinking. After looking at it, there appeared to be only a few inches of concrete in certain areas. Test
bores were authorized after some disagreement between the board members. Several areas were found
to be defective. Again, there was disagreement between board members on how to handle this with the
developer. The developer did repair some areas to get through this situation, but the majority of the
board settled with this instead of taking action to make him responsible for the repairs due to the
thickness of the concrete. After that the Village paid for all other repairs, almost yearly of removing the
pavement as it went bad and replacing it with the proper thickness. In fact, when I was walking the
neighborhoods about a month ago, the Village was again making major repairs. This is something the
developer should have been held responsible for, but I was out numbered and you the taxpayers are still
paying for this.
Then there was another issue having to do with a water line that was to be run down Lake Drive to
Virginia to the Holiday Mobile Home Park. The administration at that time set up a special taxing district
to pay for the water line, if memory serves me it was about $400,000 that taxpayers in that district would
have been responsible for paying through their property taxes. I started questioning this and again to the
best of my memory, the interest rate the taxpayers would have paid till the bonds were paid off was
16%. That means that for every $1,000 that was owed to the bondholders, the interest would have been
$160 each year till the bonds were paid off. This would have been devastating to the property owners in
the affected area. When a new water line is put in, the water company reimburses who ever paid for the
extension 1½ times the amount collected for the first year. You think the Village would have received
these funds to use towards paying the bonds off, but not in Pontoon Beach, I believe it was Holiday
Mobile Home Park that was to receive these funds. The bottom line to this is that much to the opposition
of the Village Board I openly suggested forming a water district that would serve the entire area. The
water company knowing that this would have a devastating effect in future years if this went through
agreed to put the water line in a no charge. So I fought the board and through my efforts the taxpayers
When I decided to run for Village President in 1995, I lost by only 58 votes. My opposition pulled out all
stops including some questionable voting. In 1997 I ran for re-election. Due to my health I was unable to
get out and campaign due to the fact that I could not be on my feet for any amount of time so I could not
get out and talk to the voters.
A massive campaign of mud was ran by my opposition including mailing out a letter to all
voters in the Village about my involvement with a “strip club” in Madison. There were so many
untruths to that letter that I filed suit against the people that were responsible for the letter and
an out of court settlement was agreed upon.
There was also another letter sent anonymously at the last minute filled with untruths. So, I know first
hand how vicious politics get in Pontoon Beach and some people will stop at nothing to get elected
including personal attacks on myself and my family including anonymous phone calls to members of my
family. Another example on how far they went in ’97 I made a phone call to a local resident and my
number showed up on his caller I.D. The police were ordered to charge me with phone harassment.
Now mind you I called 1 time, there are steps to take to catch a person for phone harassment, but the
police went ahead and charged me for phone harassment. The charge was DISMISSED. I had a high-
ranking officer tell me that he was ordered to issue the charge on me. Some people will do anything to
discredit their opponent. This is why a lot of good people stay out of politics. Needless to say, I lost this
election. In fact, if you really research it, there was fighting before I was originally elected to the Board.
But now, in an election year, I totally get the blamed for this even though I was just 1 trustee out of six
and there was a Village President and Village Clerk. Before I was on the Board there was fighting and
after I left the Board there was still fighting. But they are saying it’s entirely my fault? Maybe I didn’t
handle things at times in a professional way. Yes, I did argue with the other trustees, but I argued with
them because their motives were self-centered and their motives were not in the best interest of the
residents. No doubt you can expect newspaper articles that my opposition will blame me for as well as
other untruths or part truths. My opposition is desperate and will do anything to stay in office.
Again, it comes out that I am from Madison. What is wrong with people from Madison? There are people
that currently reside in the Village that are also from Venice, Granite City and other neighboring
communities. Most members of the current board came from these and other communities. In fact, there
are several members of our current Police Department that have come from the Venice Police Dept, the
past Police Chief that Mayor Denham appointed came from the Venice police Dept. But in the opinion of
some I am from Madison so that makes me an outcast. I have lived in the Village of Pontoon Beach for
about 20 years now, built a new home in the Village and raised 3 children in the Village. I operated a
business here that built several homes and commercial buildings in the Village.
Regardless of what some people are saying, and you have to remember you always make people
unhappy for some reason when involved with a political job, I am proud of what I accomplished in
Madison. Some of my accomplishments there included starting and supervising the Alarm Department.
This is kind of unique in the fact that Madison installed and maintained alarm systems in businesses and
homes. This department is still operating. I also came up with the idea in the early 80’s of a city owned
Cable Television system. The system was not only for cable TV, it also had capabilities of transmitting
signals 2 ways that would have used to transmit alarm signals as well as other data. It also had the
capability of transmitting video signals that could have been monitored by the Police Department and
the broadcast of events taking place in the City through its two-way capability. I planned and supervised
its construction only to find out that in the State of Illinois per state statues municipalities could not own
and operate them. It was sold to what is now Charter Cable Television at a profit to the City of over
$300,000. The law has since changed and municipalities can now own and operate Cable television
systems. I also was responsible for the first contract with Waste Management in 1982 when the city
received I believe 121,000 cubic yards of free dumping and in 1985 another contract was awarded
where the city received even more free dumping. These contracts were to last for years. New contracts
were signed through the years and to date they have never paid any dumping fees since 1982.
Madison also started an Ambulance Service through its Fire Department when I was Chief. It even
showed a profit and helped fund some equipment purchases. The Ambulance service went away a few
years after I left in 1985.
I worked hard in expanding the City’s boundaries when Madison employed me. Madison grew to the
Fairmount City and East St. Louis boundaries through my work in 1985. Along with that came several
businesses that produced a sizeable amount of sales tax. Later, I did the work and got the papers
signed that annexed the now Gateway International Raceway. It was a small operation at that time but
you know how it has grown. Other annexations took place in other years including areas that were
formally part of National City. Through my work in part Madison has collected millions of dollars in sales
taxes and ticket taxes not to mention property taxes. The TIF District that was created in that area paid
for Madison’s new Fire Station, paid for road improvements and sanitary sewers in neighborhoods that
did not have them. Storm water improvements were also made as well as equipment purchases.
Madison even pays their attorney from the TIF funds when he does work concerning the TIF. TIF
reports are also paid for with TIF funds. You see the “store” was not given away in Madison as they
gave developers a percentage of funds back, not everything. The percentage of Funds Madison kept
helped them make infrastructure improvements. I also worked with developers and businesses
concerning Enterprise Zones while I was there.
I have major issues with the attorney fees the Village of Pontoon Beach pays. Collinsville pays far less
in attorney fees than we do and Collinsville has a lot more going on. But again when you have to speak
for the Mayor, talk to newspaper reporters for the Mayor and do Television Interviews for the Mayor
these fees are going to escalate. It’s sad when the mayor can’t talk for himself or make a decision
without contacting the Attorney. Several times I submitted Freedom of Information Requests asking to
view the attorney’s invoices showing the last 4 years and was denied as the Village (attorney) claimed
they were attorney/client privilege. The village attorney works for the taxpayers not the mayor, the
mayor only signs the checks. I did not ask for any advice to be given or copies of any letters, I just asked
for invoices? Invoices that taxpayer’s money was used to pay. I followed procedure and filed an appeal
with the Mayor, needless to say it was denied. My question is what are they scared of? What are they
hiding or hiding from?
It appears the village has been very lax in following the requirements given in the State Statues for
about everything. Till I got involved I don’t think the Village published any of their annual financial
reports in the newspaper as required by law. I finally wrote to the Madison County Treasure and
demanded that he do his job as required by the State Statues and not give the Village its Tax money till
they published the reports as required. I had him backed into a corner and he had no choice but to
comply. About a week later a report was published in the Granite City/Press Record Journal and for 2
weeks after that a report was published. They did not go all the way back but at least some reports were
published. The reports are due to be published by October 31 of each year and by law the Villages
fiscal year ends April 30. The report that was due October 31, 2006 was not published until 2/4/07. Kind
of funny they knew they had opposition in the election and scrambled to get the report published.
After those reports were published the taxpayers of the village started finding out the truth. As to the
salaries of some appointed officials such as the Police Chief it shows he was paid last year over
$72,000. This year according to his contract he will make nearly $74,000. Look at the chief’s salaries in
the neighboring communities such as Granite City, Collinsville, Alton, Fairview Heights and Belleville. All
of those departments have at least 3 times the personal of the Village and their salaries are close to
each other. Now compare the salaries in communities similar to our size and population. His contract
also states that he gets 5 weeks paid vacation and a clothing allowance of $1,000 per year. They toned
the contract down this year most likely because it’s an election year. Last years contract also had in it
that the Police Chief has a vehicle that he has authority to drive with in a 50-mile range of the Village.
While you and me are struggling to pay for gasoline and car up keep and repairs it appears that our tax
dollars are hard at work paying for the Police Chief ‘s personal use of a Village owned vehicle. Add this
to his salary; I wonder if he pays state and federal income tax on his personal use of “our” car? Oh yes,
it also states “the Chief may be off up to one (1) year with no loss of sick pay or pay due to sickness or
injury”. I don’t think there are any of us that receive such a benefit. If we get sick and we are even lucky
enough to have sick time or any accumulated sick time when it runs out we are out of luck. If you
notice it doesn’t limit it to an injury if work related. The contracts are approved by the Village
Board and signed by the Mayor. I will not give the Police Chief a contract.
The other item that was discovered is what the Village Attorney, His Legal Firm and members of his firm
gets paid by the Village. You better hold on to your hats. In the four reports that were published it
shows that the following compensation was paid:
2003: under expenses: Eric Evans $1,560.48, Roth Law Office $48,451.21 & Roth and Evans
$19,830.71 and listed under salaries: Eric Evans $4,800.00 &
Phil Lading $3,850.00 for a total of
2004: under expenses: Eric Evans $7,463.36 & Roth and Evans $96,014.94 and
listed under salaries: Eric Evans $9,600.00 & Phil Lading $4,200.00 for a total of $117,278.38
2005: under expenses: Eric Evans $8,106.99 & Roth and Evans $89,176.06 and
listed under salaries: Eric Evans $8,800.00 & Phil Lading $3,850.00 for a total of $109,933.05
2006: under expenses: Eric Evans $1,247.95 & Roth and Evans $93,388.54 and
listed under salaries: Eric Evans $9,600.00 & Phil Lading $4,200.00 for a total of $108,436.49
I also found attorney fees in the TIF reports I was able to obtain.
In Resolution 01-022 listed in the TIF report: Roth Law Offices $430.04 & again Roth Law Offices
$97,140.24 for a total of
In Resolution 02-024 listed in the TIF report: Roth Law Offices $555.55, Eric Evans Village Attorney
$2,185.00 & again Roth Law Offices $12,072.44 for a total of $14,812.99
Another interesting listing in the report was to Russo’s Gourmet Catering $2,037.28.
In Resolution 05-008 listed in the TIF report: Roth Law Offices $630.00 & again Roth Law Offices
$7,337.84 for a total of
No wonder the Village Attorney speaks for the Mayor,
he can’t hardly afford to lose Pontoon Beach as a client.
Also I ran across what appeared to be some Village Attorney bills in some of the papers I apparently
received through some FOI requests I made.
What I seen was unbelievable.
It appears that on 5/13/04 the Village was billed $34.50 because the attorney talked to a newspaper
It appears on 12/21/04 the attorney did a interview with “Contact 2” in place of our Mayor at a cost of
On 7/22/05 it appears the Village was billed $92.00 for “Finalize work on order of Expungement"
regarding Fred Bathon; meet with Fred and turn over materials pursuant to court order.”
If I am elected mayor I will release all attorney bills for viewing upon taking office. As it should be
interesting just how much money the taxpayers paid on legal fees on the 100 acre land deal where the
Village was going to make around $500,000 on the sale of that property plus be reimbursed up to
$210,000 in legal fees and other costs. The end result is the fact that it actually cost taxpayers money
as the terms kept being changed by the Board till any hope of breaking even was lost.
There were also over 11 special meetings called concerning the 100-acre land deal. Special meetings
can be called with 48 hours notice, by posting a notice in the Village Hall. This was a great way to keep
the public from knowing what was going on plus the board got paid extra for each special meeting they
attended. You can’t tell me that this was not meant to keep the public from knowing what was going on.
In fact the way the property was financed by the Village for the Developer, if the Developer would have
defaulted the taxpayers in the Village would have been responsible through their property taxes. It was a
very risky situation that the Village Board put the taxpayers in. From what I seen there were several
times in which it came very close to going into default, including once when the board had a special
meeting to make the interest payment, that the Developers were to pay one day before it would have
gone into default. The money to make the payment was apparently taken from the tourism fund. Now
that’s not a proper use of that fund.
And yes, there is currently a Zoning Board in the Village and they get paid monthly, but have never met
in over 18 months since the Mayor appointed a “Hearing Officer”. From what I heard, the Mayor could
not control the Zoning Board so the next best thing was to appoint the “Hearing Officer”. He is a
member of the same law firm as the Village Attorney, and gets paid I believe $110.00 per hour. He does
not live in the Village yet he is entrusted with making decisions that affect all of us. Of course the Mayor
has no authority over him.
It’s my understanding that very shortly the Mayor will mail out a list of all the politicians that endorse him.
I also heard that the Mayor attended a fund raiser for a county elected official a few weeks ago, and
cornered several county officials, county board members and officials from local cities and townships
and asked for their endorsements. Being backed into a corner with the Mayor being an incumbent and
the fact that they were going to have to run for re-election in the future they felt they had no choice as
they felt if they remained neutral and the Mayor won he would not support them during their election
time. I had a few call me and they explained the situation that they were in and felt they had no choice. If
fact they admitted it was one of the very few times if any that they were asked to get involved in a city of
village election. They prefer to remain neutral and usually do. I would not have even dreamed of asking
them for their support. There is also the fact with officials from neighboring cities and townships that
some officials don’t want me in the office as Mayor. These people know me too well and know I will do
what is best for the Village of Pontoon Beach and not roll over to their opinions or concerns. With me
Pontoon Beach comes first. Not Granite City, Not Madison, Not Edwardsville, Not Glen Carbon, Not
Chouteau or Venice Townships. People that know me know that I am very devoted to the people I
represent and will do what I feel is best for the Village. I figure this will be in the form of a mailer sent out
at the last minute containing signed endorsements, half-truths, rumors and mud. But I know I am running
against one of the last people that belonged to the old Pontoon Beach “Machine” and they will do what
ever it takes to win taking no prisoners. Nothing is off limits to them including family or reputations. Then
we have the county Treasurer who thought so much of the Village he moved out taking his family up the
“hill”. I believe he is a paid administrator of the Villages Pension Plan so he has his check to lose plus it
appears the Village did him a huge favor at taxpayers expense and he is good friends with people within
the administration and most perhaps he feels they will be in trouble if I should win. He knows that I am
super honest, and everything will be by the book if I am in office. You the voters can decide on April
17th. I will not smear my opponent, I will not bring up his past, I will just stick to the years that he has
been in office and stick with what really matters and that is The Village of Pontoon Beach and it’s
If you would like to know what our plans are for Pontoon read our literature and if you have any
questions please feel free to call me I will answer your questions. Thank you for your time I know this
was long but I had no choice I had to defend myself against the rumors.