DuPage County

Lisle Park District Comissioners & Families Receiving Unauthorized Benefits –

LISLE, IL. (ECWd) –

Lisle Park District joins the long list of public bodies granting their elected officials (and their family members) benefits/compensation that are not authorized in state statutes.

To our knowledge, only the Arthur Park District and Clark County Park District have actually taken action (once notified) to prohibit this unauthorized taking of public property, funds, and credit (see IL Constitution Art. VIII) for personal gain.  Both, when notified, rescinded or declared it prohibited to receive any compensation, and/or “benefits” not available to the general public on the same terms.

The Lisle Park District has in its policy, “authorized” benefits for its Commissioners, when the Park District Code specifically prohibits or fails to authorize (see Dillon’s Rule) said benefits.

The attached pages from their policy manual, the Park District Commissioners and their immediate family members are gifted the following:

  • free participation in recreational programs
  • free season passes for Sea Lion Aquatic Park
  • free use of Community Park Fitness (family members 50% off)
  • free golfing at River Bend Golf Course (family members at lowest daily rate)

So, while they are determining how much to gouge your pockets for these events, they continue to receive free, what you are forced to pay for.

lpd-boardofcommissionersA quick analysis of costs for the above programs could grow well into thousands of dollars per year, per Commissioner, depending on programs utilized. For example, dance classes range between $160 and $321 per season, after school classes at $12 per day per person, sports programs can cost up to $162 per person per season, season family passes at the Sea Lion Aquatics Park costs up to $240, Seasonal Camps at $269 per student, River Bend Golf Course costs around $15 per day.

All of these freebies, when the Park District Code specifically states “Commissioners shall act as such without compensation” and the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act defines “compensation.”

Lisle Park District is not alone in this unauthorized gifting of services and property to their Commissioners, we have found this across Illinois in Library Districts, Park Districts, and even in some County Boards where their board members were receiving compensation not included in the Ordinance setting their compensation.

[gview file=”http://edgarcountywatchdogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/LPD-Board-Policy-Manual-Section-H-Commissioner-Benefits.pdf”]

 

 

 

7 replies »

  1. Granting free use of the park district facilities is warranted. If they don’t use the facilities, how do they know what needs to be fixed/upgraded or isn’t working in a way that the public expects.

    • That excuse is invalid.

      First, customers and staff will report anything they don’t like or something that is not working. A public official that sets policy and votes on issues is not the person who should determine if things are not working the way the public expects. Even if they had a legitimate need to “inspect” district programs, they could easily submit a claim for reimbursement of expenses incurred in performing their duty (provided a written report supporting the legitimate expense was submitted along with the claim for reimbursement).

      What does free golf 7 days a week have to do with “inspecting” the golf course? Nothing.

      Next we get to the problem of the Commissioner’s family members getting free stuff, or heavily discounted stuff – solely because they are a family member of the commissioner. Are there no other children / wives / husbands that could “inspect” programs and report findings? What do season passes for an entire family have to do with “occasionally inspecting” the services of the aquatic park?

      These program “inspections” are not the responsibility of park district commissioners, instead they are the responsibility of the park director and his staff.

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