Clark County

Follow up: Clark County Park District Spends $5,000 Without Approval

CLARK COUNTY, IL. (ECWd) –

Follow-up from this article: http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2016/09/clark-county-park-district-spends-5000-without-approval/

Someone had better start investing in stock in rope, because no one can keep up with the demand from public officials. On September 16, 2016 I sent the following FOIA request in order to validate what I had already discovered from my research.

In this specific FOIA request I requested:

“1. Copy of all meeting minutes from the period of October 2015 through September 2016 in pdf
format in which the Walldog project was discussed including when the project expense was
approved by the board.
2. Copy of the verbatim recording of all minutes from the period of October 2015 through
September 2016 in pdf format in which the Walldog project was discussed including when the
project expense was approved by the board.”

In reply, the Executive Director, Charity Murphy, responded that the project was discussed “briefly” at the February 2016 regular board meeting, and that she had budgeted for the expense. The only document that I had received as responsive to the request was the recording of this particular meeting. By the response received, Mrs. Murphy made it quite clear that there were no minutes reflecting the approval of the expense by the Board of Commissioners. Remember, if it is not in the minutes, it did not happen as the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/2.06(a)(3) requires written minutes to include:

“a summary of discussion on all matters proposed, deliberated, or decided, and a record of any votes taken.”

You can read the email communication below.

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Email-Chain-Wall-Dog-Project-FOIA.pdf”]

Executive Director, Charity Murphy is well aware of the constraints put on her by law. See this article [http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/2015/02/clark-co-park-district-commissioners-served-with-demand-to-comply-with-law/] in which a citizen served the park board and Executive Director notice of their non-discretionary duties related to spending public park district funds. The non-discretionary duty pointed out in this citizen’s letter falls under the Illinois Park District Code at 70 ILCS 1205/4-6 which states:

“No member of the board of any park district, nor any person, whether in the employ of said board or otherwise, shall have power to create any debt, obligation, claim or liability, for or on account of said park district, or the monies or property of the same, except with the express authority of said board conferred at a meeting thereof and duly recorded in a record of its proceedings. “

Below is the extracted portion of audio of the meeting in which the Wall Dog Project was discussed under committee reports when raised by Commissioner Stone, but never approved, for a whole 1 minute and 20 seconds. Enjoy!

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Categories: Clark County, feature

1 reply »

  1. 1) In the audio recording of this meeting, Mr. Stone implores the Board to step forward and do the right thing by sponsoring the Walldog mural painting. Commissioner Stepp asks the location of where the mural will be. Mr. Stone FAILS to mention that it is on the side of HIS building.

    2) Regarding Mrs. Murphy’s comments regarding the cost for this item was added to the budget. Having an item in a budget does not give authority to follow through with the expenditure. That expenditure MUST be approved by the BOARD. For instance, if a new truck for the District was appropriated in the budget, does that mean it could be purchased without a Board vote. NO.

    3) Mr. Stone, remember these words that you repeated many times to a previous Director. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. You have yet to learn it, as well as a few others on the Board and in employ with the District.

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