FOSTERBURG, IL. (ECWd) -
On top of the Fosterburg Water District's unlawful delegation of their statutory authority to a nonmember of the Board of Commissioners (here), I decided to what else they were up to. Turns out, they are up to quite a few things that violate state law.
I requested and received credit card statements for the past 12 months. What was discovered in those statements is quite shocking.
Super Bowl Weekend Party Time in Missouri - labeled as "Board Retreat"
On Super Bowl weekend, the Board of Commissioners of the Fosterburg Water District decided to party down in Missouri - and charge it on the backs of water district customers.
Of course they labeled it as "Board Retreat" - which is not allowable under state law and will be discussed later in this article.
On this Super Bowl weekend, the following charges were made to the District's Credit Card (see the pdf below) in Chesterfield Missouri - less than an hour's drive to Fosterburg:
- Annie Gunns: $851.99
- Imo's Restaurant: $71.82
- Sam's Club: $40.40
- Drury Plaza Hotel: $2,044.22 in nine separate transactions
This totals to $3,008.43 for this Super Bowl party labeled as a "Board Retreat."
That is about $375.00 more than the district's reported profit for the same month!
Food for Trustee's family member's Funeral
There is absolutely no public purpose for using public funds to pay for the funeral food for the funeral of a family member of a board member - yet they did it anyway.
This is illegal - even if he paid it back. It violates the Constitution, Article VIII, Section 1.
This water district spent over $900.00 on a Christmas Party it held at Bluff City Grill in Alton, Illinois.
Another Party - this one for no reason whatsoever
They spent over $490.00 for another party for no reason whatsoever.
This time they all went to the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus in Grafton, Illinois.
All total, this water district spent almost $5,000.00 on parties and food in a 14-week period.
The "Board Retreat"
A Board Retreat, by its very definition involves the discussion of public business of the board and water district.
Accordingly it is subject to the Open Meetings Act and the FOIA.
There was never any mention in any minutes of this "Board Retreat" nor of the "Employee and Board Dinners" as annotated on the credit card statements.
There was never a meeting notice, meeting agenda, nor any meeting minutes of the alleged "board retreat" and even if there were, it still violated the Act by being held in a place inconvenient to the public and outside the district - this one was in another state.
With this being an alleged illegal meeting of the board, the District's Treasury need to be replenished by those responsible for this expense.
The same holds true for these Christmas Parties, and Employee and Board Dinners. If a majority of a quorum were present, you can bet they discussed public business, since they were for employees and board members. These meetings should also have a notice, agenda, and minutes. They do not exist and the District's Treasury needs to be replenished for these expenditures also.