Clark County Park District votes in favor of low-cost lot lease rates
The Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) have uncovered what could amount to coercion in Marshall based on its scrutiny of recent Clark County Park District policies involving leasing residential lots at unusually low costs.
ECW reports in the last couple of years during which the park district publicized lot availability, only one person has tried to obtain a contract — and did so under duress, it said.
The watchdog group suggested that the individual capitulated to “threats from the Park District of a denial of a dock permit on the property she already owns,” unless she agreed to invest in an adjacent lot as well. This prompted the ECW to compare the policy to “criminal intimidation by a public official.”
A special meeting convened Dec. 6 resulted in a close vote in favor of the lease rates, with one commissioner absent, three in favor and two opposed. The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at Mill Creek Park, 20482 N. Park Entrance Rd. in Marshall.
The district officials “voted to give away (for very little money) the very thing this district is charged to protect … real estate for the recreational use of the taxpayers in the district,” ECW said, calling the choice an “amazingly ignorant decision.”
The group suggested that by convening the meeting concurrently with township caucuses, officials may have banked on avoiding public scrutiny, saying “they were about to lease out residential lots for less than the cost of an annual campsite.”
With an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million, the CCPD is administrated by a board of commissioners. Executive Director Charity Murphy tends to day-to-day operations.
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20482 N. Park Entrance Road
Marshall, IL - 62441