ALGONQUIN, IL. (ECWd) -
When a Township donates taxpayer funds to a museum, for instance, the McHenry County Historical Society and Museum, there are certain things that must be accomplished according to law.
Algonquin Township failed to comply with the law while their attorney sat through the meeting with them, and the MCHS failed to comply with state law's reporting requirements to the Township.
Section 275-15 of the Illinois Township Code spells out those requirements in a way that even this township's attorney could understand if he decided to read it:
(60 ILCS 1/275-15)
Use of funds; financial statement.
(a) Any funds paid to a not for profit museum or historical society must be used solely for the maintenance and operation of the museum or historical society.
(b) Within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year of any museum or historical society for which funds were provided under this Article, the museum or historical society that received the funds shall file with the township clerk a complete statement of the financial affairs of the museum or historical society for the fiscal year. The statement must be verified under oath and must show, for the fiscal year, (i) the amount expended in the maintenance and operation of the museum or historical society and the reasons for the expenditure; (ii) the amount of township funds received; (iii) the amount and source of any other funds received for those purposes; and (iv) the amount remaining on hand for maintenance and operation of the museum or historical society. The township clerk shall record the statement in the record book of the township and shall cause the statement to be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the township within 30 days after it is filed with the clerk.
(Source: Laws 1967, p. 82; P.A. 88-62.)
The Historical Society or museum must provide a complete statement of the financial affairs [for the fiscal year], verified under oath, and that financial statement must show the four things listed above. Additionally, the Township Clerk must publish the financial statement in a newspaper within 30 days of receiving it.
See what Algonquin Township Clerk expected to pass off as their "complete statement of financial affairs" (FY2017) and you will find the following required items are NOT contained in this document:
- verified under oath
- amounts expended for maintenance and operation and the reason for the expenditure
- amount of Township funds received
- amount and source of any other funds received for those purposes
- amount remaining on hand for the maintenance and operation
This "report" fails the smell test, but the township willingly doled out more taxpayer funds to an organization that apparently did not comply with reporting requirements - or the township failed to keep the reports. We did get the financial report for FY2015, and it did contain more information than this pie-chart 2017 report, but it was incomplete also.
Here is the video of the May 14, 2018 donation discussion:
Upon hearing the excuses used to donate once again this year, I requested the financial reports and proof of publication from the Algonquin Township Clerk. As suspected, nothing was in compliance with the Township Code, and this donation should never have been made.
Why spend money on an attorney to attend these meetings if he is not going to provide the legal direction on such matters?
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