By Grant Bissell
St. Jacob, IL (KSDK) - The tiny village of St. Jacob, Illinois has a big problem. The village's government is completely shut down. That includes village hall, the public works and police departments.
On Thursday night the village's board of trustees couldn't come to an agreement on a proposed million dollar budget. That prompted Mayor Ray Muniz to shut down the government. He said at this point it's not clear whether the village can legally continue to spend money, so all village employees were told not to come to work today.
"I was very disappointed when we were at this situation," said Muniz. "Our employees and out staff are who makes this village go. And it's really, really unfortunate that they can be caught up in a political quagmire where two sides can't agree with each other and their jobs, their livelihoods are affected."
Patricia Beil is one of three Village Trustees who voted against the budget. She says she wants to see more transparency, more efficiency when it comes to spending money and better communication in the village's government. She's concerned about items in the budget including $10,000 for travel expenses. She also claims itemized village bills aren't easily available.
"I want to do what's best for this village," said Beil. "That's what I was elected for. Their money should be well spent. And we should know where it's going, why it's going and when it's going."
One village resident said he's concerned about safety since the police department is shut down. But mayor Muniz says all emergencies will be handled either by the Madison County Sheriff's Department of the Troy Police Department. He also says the village's water and sewer systems are still operating normally.
As for when employees may get back to work, Mayor Muniz is optimistic it could be as soon as Monday. But it remains to be seen when the budget dispute will be settled.