MARSHALL, IL. (ECWd) -
Well, it's that time of year again...the time of year where elected officials refuse to take responsibility for their actions, and blame those paying attention.
It is common knowledge that public funds cannot be used for gifts, well, at least to those that can read.
Generally, any "bonus", the cleverly disguised term for Christmas Gift this time of year, must be spelled out in an employee's contract or employment agreement. When placed in the contract or agreement, it must be tied to a measurable outcome, or a measurable performance standard - over and above any regular duty performance.
Absent anything written into an employment contract or employment agreement, anything of value given is a gift.
Last year, a local newspaper in DeWitt County tried blaming us for employees and county board member declining gift cards for these "bonuses" that are clearly in violation of the law.
This year, instead of simply stating that gifts are a violation of the law, Mayor Sanders takes the spineless way out and quotes the city attorney, who in turn blames "government investigative groups". Like it is the fault of people like us that gifts of public cash were not authorized by the legislature of this great state.
Additionally, when it comes to anything of value for an alderman or any other elected official (or someone appointed to a vacant elected position), these would be considered an increase in compensation during their term of office. Which, once again, violates the law.
Furthermore, he states the the "Employee Relations Committee" and himself decided to "gift" all employees a $25 gift certificate. For starters, no committee of any public body has any authority to take action on any item. It is the duty of the entire city council to make that determination, and only if it is in full compliance with the law. Now I am wondering if "gifts" are included in any union agreements with the city.
Public funds belong to the citizens, not the mayor and the employee relations committee.