Naperville, IL. (ECWd) –
updated for clarification…
Did you ever wonder where the “surcharges” on your home phone and cell phones go? Look no further…
In Naperville, the city has its own ETSB, or Emergency Telephone System Board, with the duty of managing the city’s 911/E911 system, or Emergency Telephone System. Part of that duty includes determining where the surcharges raised from citizen’s telephone service is spent, as a matter of fact, they have exclusive authority over those funds.
The Emergency Telephone System Act
According to the Emergency Telephone System Act, one of those pesky state laws we have to operate under, the ETSB Board has the following duties that include but are not limited to:
– Receiving all surcharge funds
– Placing all funds into a separate interest-bearing Emergency Telephone System Fund account
– Ensuring all interest earned stays in that account
– Ensuring no money is paid out except upon direction of the board by resolution passed by a majority of all members of the board – and only for authorized expenditures
– Ensuring that expenditures only go to pay for the 10 items listed in Section 15.4(c) of the Act, and for no other item
We found it quite unusual that each quarter, the Naperville ETSB would transfer lump sums from the surcharge account straight into the General Fund of the City. I’m still trying to figure out how they know where the money is going if that is their only “expenditure” of these restricted funds. The appearance is that the city is trying to get around this restriction by simply transferring all of the funds in the account to the general fund to use how they wish, but that is not how it works.
So I asked for more information, and one of the items that jumped off the page were payments to a consultant (see one example on page 9 of this pdf), which is in violation of the law even if he is acting as a financial consultant.
Consultants such as Marquette Associates, Inc. are not one of the ten items listed in the Act’s authorized expenditures.
I have requested further information on these payments and expect to hear from the city by the end of this week.