River Forest village board Finance Committee Chairman Steve Hoke was a committee of one Monday night. That’s not even a quorum. Tuesday morning Trustee Pat O’Brien said the committee will stay without a quorum until the board seats a third member.

That could be an issue tonight at the first of two scheduled Finance Committee meetings to discuss the village’s proposed 2008 levy. A second meeting is scheduled for the following evening in case more time is needed to address all issues. The Finance Committee must then pass on its recommendation to the full village board, which will vote on it at the next board meeting Nov. 14.

Hoke oversaw an often testy two-and-one-half-hour informal meeting convened to discuss differences of opinion between the village’s actuary, Charles McKenzie, and the Police Pension board’s actuary, Arthur Tepfer.

O’Brien said he wasn’t looking to obstruct anything by not being present Monday. He simply refused to participate in an unofficial meeting.

“Two people doesn’t constitute a committee. It may constitute a quorum, I’m not sure,” he said.

“There has to be three people,” O’Brien said. “My contention is there isn’t a committee. I won’t participate in this charade.”

An annoyed Hoke responded that every other trustee but O’Brien was present Monday. Sitting on opposite sides of the room, Trustees Susan Conti and Nancy Dillon and Trustees Russ Nummer and Steven Dudek watched and listened as Hoke moderated a conversation largely between Tepfer and McKenzie.

“Five out of six trustees found the time to attend the meeting and become educated on significant pension funding issues that have been systematically ignored for over 10 years,” Hoke said. “I find Pat’s refusal to attend the meeting troubling, (since) as the agenda clearly provided was for educational purposes only. This indicates that he puts politics over his duties to the electorate and the pension funds.”

O’Brien argued that the trustees have had the opportunity for the past two weeks to appoint a third person to the finance committee.

“Hoke and Dudek and Nummer had two weeks to pick a third committee member,” he said.

Hoke contended that O’Brien was being an obstructionist, and suggested that he should step down and let two other trustees serve on the committee.

“Refusing to attend as the second member to purposefully defeat a quorum does nothing to address the problem he allegedly seeks to cure. I will serve with either Steve Dudek or Susan Conti, and note that they both attended last night. In view of Pat’s indifference, perhaps he should step aside and allow both Steve and Susan to become members so that we have a full complement on the committee.”

The two actuaries, Tepfer and McKenzie differed on several details related to the village’s annual contribution to the police fund. Tepfer supported the contention of Hoke and others such as assistant treasurer of the police pension board George Parry that the village is routinely under funding its police and fire pensions. McKenzie argued that the primary issue is not to assure full, 100 percent funding, but to assure that the pension is adequately funded to provide for the obligations to police personnel already retired.

McKenzie has urged the village to contribute approximately $1,100,000 to the fund. McKenzie has recommended a $903,000 contribution. The state’s actuarial recommendation was due out on Tuesday.

Join the discussion on social media!