KANKAKEE, IL. (ECWd) -
The Kankakee Valley Park District, on the losing edge of a financial cliff, has apparently made the decision it doesn't want the public to know what happens at "their" meetings.
With the district in financial ruin, having laid off nearly every employee, you would think they would make a better attempt at transparency with their official acts during meetings, but that has not been the case.
According to Executive Director Dayna Heitz, the most recent meeting minutes approved by the Board of Commissioners are April 25, 2016, nearly 9 months ago.
With the recent failure of the Kankakee School District's attempt at loaning the park district $903,000 it is even more critical to find out what the park district has been up to the past year, but unless we can see the minutes, it's anyone's guess.
The Illinois Open Meetings Act states that minutes shall be approved within 30 days, or the second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later [5 ILCS 120/2.06(b)] . Either there have been no regular meetings (we believe there have been), or the KVPD has violated the Open Meetings Act by not timely approving meeting minutes.
One could even argue this failure to approve meeting minutes violates the Park District Code, Section 4-6, where it explicitly states that nobody can create a debt, liability, claim, or obligation on or for the park district unless and until authority to do so has been approved at a meeting of the commissioners and the decision (approval) duly recorded in a record of the meeting's proceedings. How can anything be duly recorded in a record of proceedings if the commissioners won't approve the minutes?
Have they been paying their bills and invoices without authority to pay them?
Whatever the case may be, this park district needs to approve all of these minutes in a timely manner, and publish them on their website, so the public can determine what they have been doing since April of 2016.