Atlanta Public Library District

Atlanta Library Directors and Board are clueless

Logan Co. (ECWd) –

During the budget hearing and board meeting, it became evident that there are far more problems at the Atlanta Library than the conflicts with board member Bill Thomas, whose conflict was admitted to by the Board President, more on that later.

Budgets.  Pretty simple stuff. Initially the Board President, due to frustration from ignorance we assume, stated that their budget only related to tax money, nothing else.  After asking them if that is the case can they explain the “grants & donations” line item, which neither are tax money.  The reason this is important is because the Library is “operating”(key word to remember), a museum that is operating a restaurant, which pays rent to the library.  Got that?

The budget presented had nothing in it about any revenues or expenses of the restaurant being operated under the claim its part of the “living” museum and separate.  Oh Really?

The Library is mandated to follow the Illinois Municipal Budget act:

(75 ILCS 16/30-85) 
    Sec. 30-85. Budget and appropriation ordinance; levy ordinance. 
    (a) The board shall, within the first quarter of each fiscal year and no later than the fourth Tuesday of September, prepare and enact a budget and appropriation ordinance pursuant to the provisions of the Illinois Municipal Budget Law.

According to the Illinois Municipal BUdget Act:

The budget included in such ordinance shall contain a statement of the cash on hand at the beginning of the fiscal year, an estimate of the cash expected to be received during such fiscal year from all sources, an estimate of the expenditures contemplated for such fiscal year, and a statement of the estimated cash expected to be on hand at the end of such year. The estimate of taxes to be received may be based upon the amount of actual cash receipts that may reasonably be expected by the municipality during such fiscal year, estimated from the experience of the municipality in prior years and with due regard for other circumstances that may substantially affect such receipts. Provided, however, that nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring any municipality to change or preventing any municipality from changing from a cash basis of financing to a surplus or deficit basis of financing; or as requiring any municipality to change or preventing any municipality from changing its system of accounting. 

So reading the statute they are required to follow would be a good starting point to understand, funds from ALL sources, to include the restaurant, are required to be reported in the Budget, contrary to their claim it was not.

You will see this particular discussion and the excuses starting at the 17:24 mark of the video below.

Stay tuned for the debunking article on their claim they dont have to have an audit!

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6 replies »

  1. I call the bookkeeper in Chatham, Julia Childs.. Few people catch the meaning..
    Problem I have with the ladies and the Library Board in this great video, is trying to figure out if their problem is incompetence or corruption..
    OR both..

    • One of them is the daughter to the Trustee who violates the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act by renting and selling a building he (or his “nonprofit”) owns to the library that he is a board member on (she is the one who is a library director, in charge of the museum, and in charge of the Grill Café restaurant run by the library) – the other was hired after they told an employee they could not afford to pay her anymore, and then turned around and hired the additional library director (so the story goes as we have been told). Both of them think all of this is funny.

  2. Absolutely awesome job of ”grilling” the Board about the Library ”grill”.. The E.C.W had the Board frying as they tried to cook the books..

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