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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Board Packet Review - April 13, 2021

Word on the street is that the swearing in is April 27th provided that the county gets the certification of the ballots completed. As I hear more details, I will gladly share. I'm so excited and looking forward to working with the residents for the next four years. Again, I can't thank you enough for having faith in us and a desire to make real changes.

However, before we get there, we have two Budget Workshops and a Board Meeting to get through. Alas -- let's see what is being attempted during these last few lame duck sessions.


1. Request Approval of Bill Lists: a. Accounts Payable Invoices Dated April 14, 2021 in the Amount of $128,612.08 b. Accounts Payable PrePaid Invoices Dated March, 2021 in the Amount of $30,887.92

Anyone have any idea why we haven't seen what was charged on the Village debit cards since September? (the debit card report was a last run in prep to close the month of September --- in December) -- we have no seen ANY debit charges come before the board for approval in over 6 months of charges! I asked in my April 2nd meeting, it was acknowledged that they should be in the packet -- where in the world are they and how can we trust the financials we have without them?

2. Items Removed from Consent Agenda - If Any


3. Letter of Appreciation – Officer Sean McGrath

Nothing makes me prouder than when the staff of our village are recognized for their service -- but I gotta say, when I read this, it gave me chills. We know from past research that Ofc. McGrath is one of the most educated and certified officers in the department. But what gives me chills is that he's always listening and keeping his eyes and ears open for anything. He is an asset to our community and I'm thrilled he works for us!

The next two agenda items are very similar in that the owners have requested a variance from P&Z and the recommendation from the majority of the commission is to deny the variance. Now, I think it is important to explain that the goal of P&Z is to ensure that my rights as a property owner to build whatever house I want doesn't infringe on my neighbors' rights to have access to light, air, view etc that they also paid good money for. Additionally, both of these lots are in the Gates -- and we are all aware that as the years have gone on and some of the smaller lots have been rebuilt with large homes, the drainage is an issue. My layman's understanding is that one of the keys to helping the drainage in the Gates is to have permeable surfaces -- surface that water drains through, not across. So, the ordinances have been written to ensure these two things. While there are legitimate reasons to apply for a variance (for example that the lot shape is such that the requirements can't be met), we have a P&Z Commission to help make these recommendations.

In case you are wondering, if P&Z said no, why this is coming to the board -- it's because the vote wasn't unanimous. With the dissenting votes, it allows the request to go to the board. So, this is the chance for the board to show they trust the P&Z board they appointed.

4. Recommendation to Deny Variance for 324 Warwick Lane (Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to deny petition 3/15/21).

5. Recommendation to Deny Variance for 2120 South Shore (Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation to deny petition 3/29/21).

6. Motion to approve FY 21 Budget Amendment as presented.

In the future, we need to amend the budget before we spend the money -- this isn't a matter of just spending all we want and then moving the budget around to match. That is in fact the OPPOSITE of budgeting. That said, these are so late -- I'm not entirely sure I see the point in amending the budget to adjust for the chronic overspending this year.

7. Motion to approve FY 22 Lake Patrol Fund Budget as presented.

So -- this should not be approved. It is a violation of IL Municipal code to approve a budget without a very specific process. First the budget must be publicly available for 10 days prior to approval. Second, there must be public notice of a Public Budget Hearing. Third, neither of these things have happened. Per an email that the incoming trustees received from our CAO/Finance Director/Budget Officer, this needs to be approved so that Crystal Lake can approve their side of this intergovernmental agreement. Technically, she said it needed to be approved before the end of April --- and if you look at her schedule, the Public Hearing and Budget Approval is scheduled for April 27th. That is still before the end of April, right? I also took a look at prior years and I've never seen the budget for Lake Patrol being approved separately from the full budget, even in the years that the budget was approved in the second meeting of April. So -- why push this through in direct violation of the IL Code?

8. Motion authorizing investigation of TIF fund.

Really? Hey -- let me save the village time, energy and money --- This was aa campaign promise of Paul Serwatka, our village attorney wrote the resolution to dissolve the TIF, the board approved it, the president and the county told the village how to distribute the funds, the checks were approved by the board, and the president sent letters out on village letterhead sharing this news. This is a distraction and attempt to discredit prior village employees by a Trustee who is sending a clear message that he has no desire to work with the incoming board -- the board who won a clear mandate for change in this election.

Perhaps he and his current majority board needs to be reminded that any action taken by a prior administration can be called into question and investigated. ANY ACTION.

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