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July 22, 2024

Atlanta Library – financial hardships reap bonuses

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On February 11, 2018

  •  Logan Co. (ECWd) –

During the Atlanta Public Library hearing, one of the Library Director’s testified on the impact to the library if they had to pay the Secretary of State for the Grant they obtained totaling $25,000.0.  Does anyone else find it strange that they did not have the “other” Director testify?  Is the fact she is Bill Thomas’s daughter a contributing factor as to why she was not asked any questions?

As can be seen in the video, the Director who did testify under oath, claimed the library would suffer a hardship if they had to pay back the Grant they received.

  • We’re really small
  • Our entire budget is $180,000.00 (never mind the fact they basically doubled the tax levy just a few years ago) 
  • It takes us a long time to save $25,000.00
  • We’ve already had to put freezes on purchasing material
  • We may have to be laying off staff for a while
  • If they had to pay the grant back they could basically just keep the lights on.

The hardship claims were based on their “moral” feelings that they have to ask other donors if they want their money back.   How interesting that she invoked “morals” into the testimony.  Where are those same moral concerns to the taxpayer’s money?

So what are we to believe?

During the February Atlanta Library Board meeting, a citizen asked what the $500.00 payment to Bill Thomas was for.  The response is priceless, as it is an admission of a crime on two fronts, in our opinion, but before we dive into that, we have one question.

If the library is in such dire straights that they had to freeze purchasing of materials and might have to lay people off, and can basically only keep the lights on if they have to pay this grant back to the State of Illinois, how on earth can they justify giving away $500.00 to Bill Thomas? (even though it was alleged he distributed bonuses/gifts)

We find it disingenuous to claim the return of the grant money to the State would create a hardship while behind the scenes they’re giving money away in violation of the law.

First, Bill Thomas was never given a board approval to cut himself a check for Bonuses/Gifts.  Secondly, we have not found any agenda for any meetings in the last 6 months for this board to give money to Bill Thomas for bonuses or gifts.

As can be seen in the video, Randy Brooks, the Board president states the funds were for Christmas bonuses to the employees and it was paid by Thomas since there wasn’t anyone available to get a check at that time. In short, they are claiming what is documented as a Bonus/Gift to Bill Thomas is NOT for what the records claim.

May we suggest a new bookkeeper…….again? 

When you spend public funds you are required to account for them.  Telling the public Bill Thomas got a $500.00 Bonus/Gift DOES NOT tell the public that employees of the Library got a Christmas Bonus.

Bonuses are a violation of the law and considered a gift unless it is written into the employment agreements with a measurable result in order to qualify for the bonus.

In light of yet more improper spending of taxpayer money, we ask the Logan County State’s Attorney to come to the aid of the citizens, who are in fact his client, and prosecute those responsible for violations of law at the Atlanta Public Libary.
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  • Brenda Hawkins
    Posted at 15:17h, 11 February Reply

    It never ends, when will Atlanta ask all members directors anyone affiliated with the library resign and start fresh!

  • Disgusted Taxpayer
    Posted at 19:28h, 11 February Reply

    As an employer these bonus/ gifts should be taxed. So how are the employment taxes being handled on this money? What a mess! The board members need to resign. And Cathy and Rachel need to go too!

  • Frank Rizzo
    Posted at 21:49h, 11 February Reply

    If they need 25 large can’t they just jack the prices at the Palms? Add $25.00 to the first thousand patrons and they got it covered!

    Another thing, maybe someone should check in that storm drain in case anyone lost an expensive ring in the grease!

    If I’m smart enough to think of this maybe I should be on the board!

  • Danni Smith
    Posted at 10:16h, 12 February Reply

    do I understand this? Paying back illegally obtained taxpayer money would create a hardship for the criminals? Who would’nt want a hardship for criminals? Criminals?

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