Cook County

Orland Park Public Library Caught Spending Public Funds on Gourmet Jelly Donuts Again

 

Orland Park, Illinois – (ECWd) –

Director Mary Weimar at the Orland Park Public Library is at it again: once more buying an obscene amount of expensive gourmet jelly donuts from the Orland Park Bakery with funds that taxpayers naively believe the library ought to be spending on books, DVDs, and other materials that actually benefit the public. Weimar’s incurable sweet-tooth is well-documented in the book, SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, where her lavish spending on pastries and other diabetes-encouraging goodies for staff was particularly memorable.

Something to note is that prior to the OPPL being scrutinized for its spending through FOIA production, Weimar never allowed the public to eat any of the treats she purchased from this or any other bakery. After this sort of frivolous spending was exposed and written about in letters to the editor in the local paper The Orland Park Prairie, Weimar was shamed into begrudgingly allowing the public to sample the sweet treats like these jelly donuts, too (instead of just keeping them for herself and chosen staff of gluttons).

In a seeming act of defiance, Weimar apparently refuses to ever stop buying the expensive jelly donuts (and paying the absurd premium of $140 for a large box of them!) no matter how many people see her spending receipts…but public scrutiny has curtailed her activities. Weimar used to spend money like this on sweets every month, but is now limited to doing it only once in a while (when she thinks either no one will notice or she can get away with it). So that’s a kind of limited progress.

Still, this remains a glaring example of a public employee (Weimar) enjoying something on a personal level (the gourmet jelly donuts at Orland Park Bakery) and wanting to eat them without having to pay for them herself. So, she uses her public position to have the public body buy the thing she covets (the jelly donuts) and use public funds to buy that for her. If Weimar was not still the Director, it’s highly unlikely that these purchases would continue, as we believe Weimar personally is the driving force behind them and there’s no true public benefit that ever comes from indulging her personal sweet-tooth.

A true steward of the public trust would end the trips to the Orland Park Bakery entirely, but Weimar appears to feel she is entitled to have her jelly donuts (though she doesn’t want to pay for them herself out of her own pocket and nearly $200,000/year compensation package as Library Director). Just because Weimar can legally do something as Director doesn’t mean she should be doing it.

It should be noted that $140 could have purchased several new hardcopy books, more than a dozen new DVDs, and baskets full of activity books for small children. Since the Orland Park Public Library is a public body that regularly cries that it needs more taxpayer funds to keep offering programs to the public, it remains a question as to how any spending at all on sugary sweet treats and gooey goodies for Mary Weimar and friends is ever justified.

If even one book that a member of the public asks the OPPL to buy remains unpurchased due to lack of funds to buy every book that the community wants to be in the library’s collection, why is even a penny (let alone $140!) squandered on jelly donuts that only one woman (who unfortunately happens to be the Library Director) thinks is worth such a high price tag?

Costco has jelly donuts for very affordable prices that are much lower than Orland Park Bakery’s. If Mary Weimar wants to throw herself a donut party with public funds, why can’t there be a compromise that involves less expensive donuts so more money is left over to buy some books?

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8 replies »

  1. As a former employee, I can tell you library staff can careless if the paczki are brought in or not. The donuts are put in the staff lounge and cut in pieces after Mary and her people behind the administration second floor door pick through and put away the full size donuts they want.

  2. This may be the most petty complaint ever lodged. Also, why not Costco? Maybe a policy to support local businesses.

  3. The pączki look like a taxable work (“fringe”) benefit to me. Does the library director’s W-2 show the value of the pączki and doughnuts she ate last year under “fringe?”

    • This is a great question. What Mary Weimar is doing is clear: she wants these nearly $2/a piece donuts but does not want to buy them. So she uses library funds to buy them so she can have them. It’s a personal preference for her. Why not just get jelly donuts from Costco that are much less expensive? Why does it always have to be the Orland Park Bakery’s donuts? The other thing I wonder is if Mary Weimar is friends with the people who own that bakery and just wants to give them the business and public money. Why not get the cheapest donuts possible if donuts are really needed at all?

  4. Hiding from the public that after years you still facilitate child p0rnography viewing and you still have a homophobic elected library board member can be very taxing. Donuts helps make that work easier. Oh excuse me, paczkis. You are not trying to deprive them of the calories needed to violate the law and spread homophobic hate, are you?

    I’ve been tweeting about this. Unbelievable. Just like the wasteful spending continues, so does the child p0rn facilitation and the homophobia.

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