Former Swansea mayor sues village over fire truck spending

SWANSEA, Ill. (AP) — A former southwestern Illinois mayor is suing his village over the purchase of a $340,000 fire truck and an alleged violation of the state’s open meetings law. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that ex-Swansea Mayor Jim Rauckman is challenging the village board’s decision to meet behind closed doors in late December to discuss his complaint over the purchase. The village tapped a special business district account to cover half the truck’s purchase price after previously indicating it would cover those costs using a spending method known as tax increment financing. Rauckman argues that the board improperly held an executive session after he hired an attorney but before he took any legal action challenging the spending plan. The board is scheduled to meet Monday to consider reversing its spending decision.