OBK Board of Directors – President Election

The OBK Board of Directors was notified by Michael Berens our Acting President that he could no longer continue in that capacity as a result of a family illness that required his complete attention. The Board accepted his resignation with regret for his outstanding contribution and dedication to forming and carrying  out the OBK mission. The Board will continue to keep in contact and update him on our progress as we continue to move the project forward.

The OBK Board continued by opening the nomination process following the standard protocol with David Rands and Michael Davis nominated. David Rands declined the nomination because of his heavy work load as a special prosecutor for the Illinois State’s Attorney Office. Michael Davis accepted the nomination and was elected by a voice vote of the Board as President of the Board of Directors effective May 20, 2017.

OBK Board of Directors – Vice President Election

The OBK Board Vice President Dcn. John Fridley is completing his term commitment in June, 2017 and will not be returning at that time due to travel requirement. The Board is thankful for Dcn. John’s service during the OBK start-up and implementation of the many policies that provide the operational base of the group today. A special thanks for his many contribution to prison ministry in the Diocese of Belleville through his work at SWICC and the RCIA.

The OBK Board continued by opening the nomination process following the standard protocol with Louis Slapshak nominated for Vice President. Louis accepted the nomination and was elected by a voice vote of the Board as Vice President of the Board of Directors and remains as the Secretary of the Board effective May 20, 2017.

OBK Property-Site Selection

During the month OBK was working to obtain an ESL property that would be donated and was of sufficient acreage that the OBK Home and community garden concept would be a reality. This property was investigated following the OBK protocol and during the course of the review was found not acceptable and no further work was done.

In April, OBK had reviewed the 36 property sites that were presented by the ESL Planning Dept. and they were not found suitable as a site. In order to continue the search, the St. Clair County office of Mapping & Platting (Karen Butler, Chief Cartographer) was contacted for a listing of parcels owned by St. Clair County Trustee within the city limits of East St. Louis. The listing is current as of May 25, 2017 and included 3,434 parcels with the location, acreage and other site options listed. Ms. Butler indicated that after May 22, 2017, there would be another 2000 parcels that would revert back to St. Clair County, but they would not be on the list until September, 2017 due to office process work that would need to be completed

In order to move this St. Clair County parcel review forward, John Laker (OBK Property Manager) contacted Mark Kern (St. Clair County Board Chairman) to obtain information about how to proceed with this property site selection based on the large number of potential sites. This resulted in OBK making contact with the Joseph E. Meyer & Associates (President Whitney Stohmeyer) to assist with finding property options for a building site. Joseph E. Meyer & Associates manages delinquent property taxes for St. Clair County and properties not purchased by tax buyers at the County Tax Sales are enrolled in the trustee program and managed by Joseph E. Meyer & Associates. After the redemption period expires on delinquent properties, Joseph E. Meyer & Associates obtains tax deeds on behalf of the county and sells the properties at public auction. These auctions are conducted verbally or by sealed bids each quarter and the listing of property for auction can be reviewed at Illinois Tax Sale (www.iltaxsale.com). OBK will continue to work with Joseph E. Meyer to find suitable property sites in East St. Louis for investigation as a site for the OBK Campus.