The village of St. Jacob is back in business, at least temporarily.
The village trustees Monday night tabled approval of the village's $1 million budget during a special meeting. It's the same budget that was voted down Thursday, leaving the village unable to spend any money, including payroll for police, public works and street department works.
Village attorney Ron Motil said after the meeting the village could operate without a budget and offer services, but it was "good government" to have a budget in place. Village workers returned to work Monday, and they will report to work Tuesday since the budget was tabled.
So many people showed up for the special meeting that it needed to be moved to the village's activity center down the street from village hall.
At issue, the village allocated about $10,000 in travel expenses for trustees to attend a conference in Chicago that offered training.
Many of the villagers were angry that a budget that was introduced in early August was rejected, causing the village's shutdown.
Eric Jordan said he's trying to sell his house in St. Jacob. At an open house Sunday, Jordan said a prospective buyer asked what was going on with the village and whether there would be police protection and other city services.
"We aren't Chicago. We aren't St. Louis. We are St. Jacob," Jordan told the mayor and trustees. "It's time to put on your big boy pants and get this taken care of."
Several village employees expressed concern over lost pay when the village shut down, and they were told not to come into work Friday.
Motil said he's represented villages, towns and cities for 29 years, and he's never seen an entire budget be rejected.
"It was quite shocking," Motil said.
Former Mayor Ed Kelly took the floor at the meeting and addressed the mayor and trustees.
"There's some individuals sitting at this table who don't know why they were elected," Kelly said. "You are here to serve the community."
Current Mayor Ray Muniz told the trustees that he was willing to offer a hand of cooperation and friendship and start over, setting aside personal differences they've had in the past. Trustees Rich Schiefer, Pattie Beil and Jeni Zahn voted last week to reject the budget.
Schiefer, Muniz's top political adversary, offered his comments at the end of the meeting.
"I just want everyone to be aware of what's going on and how the village's money is being spent," Schiefer told the villagers. "Thanks for coming."
Shiefer expressed concern about travel expenses, salaries, dues, health insurance and leases. Schiefer, the former mayor who intends to run against Muniz, said the push for a vote on the budget was calculated political move on Muniz's part.
Muniz, the village's first Latino mayor also serves as the Illinois Municipal League's president, earns $750 a year as the village's mayor.
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer@bnd.com or 239-2570.