EFFINGHAM, IL. (ECWd) -
After we wrote an article (which was part of a larger project dealing with park districts across the state of Illinois) dealing with unauthorized memberships, discounts, and other freebies typically given to park commissioners, their families, and former commissioners and families - the Effingham Park District took steps to eliminate those perks.
The Effingham Park District eliminated a park policy compensating commissioners, which had been in place for more than 27 years. There are no longer any perks, discounts, or free use of park facilities or programs for their park commissioners, former commissioners, or their family members.
The district also rewrote their public comment policy to bring it in line with current Open Meetings Act rulings on public comment during meetings. Instead of requiring a weeks' notice in advance of the meeting, their new policy only requires notification prior to the meeting and can be found at this link.
The park district also corrected their policy on "fee structures" and access to park programs - making it simply a first-come-first-served policy.
We can only hope other local public bodies in Illinois will learn from the Effingham Park District and the DeKalb Planning and Zoning Commission - where they realized a problem existed and chose to fix the problem instead of fighting against the public.
It is not hard, and it is what we have continually written - just fix the problem, follow the law, and you have nothing to worry about.