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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Board Packet Review: April 27, 2021

Lest we think these are going away -- here's my thoughts on the upcoming board packet for Tuesday night's meeting.

First, let's talk about same odd choices that our current village president is making with regard to how these final meetings are set-up. I've noted the oddnesses with the budget workshops, but did you notice there's no SEPARATE meeting for the budget hearing this year? In every previous year the public hearing (required by IL code -- and our own village code) has been run as a separate meeting. Here's the 2019 agenda (which looks remarkably like the 2020 agenda and the 2018 agenda, the 2017 agenda -- you see my point.)

Can the hearing be 'inside' a board meeting? I honestly don't know -- but with the cancellation of the Budget Workshop #2 (when they redid the meeting on Friday, they effectively denied the existence of Budget Workshop #2 -- thus it didn't happen) and this odd placement of the public hearing -- it makes me wonder why this year everything is being done differently.

Without further ado -- let's see what this board packet contains.


Roll Call - Establish Quorum

Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag

Public Hearing on the Village’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

(See previous note about how odd this is.)

Public Comments (Not to exceed 30 minutes as an item)

CONSENT AGENDA: Note: Items under the Consent Agenda are considered and enacted on a singlemotion. Thereisnoseparatediscussionoftheseitemspriortothe Board vote unless: 1) a Board Member requests that an item be removed from the Consent Agenda for separate action or 2) a citizen requests an item be removed and this request is, in turn, proposed by a member of the Village Board for separate action.

1. Request Approval of Bill Lists:

Five months of Debit Card purchases that haven't been presented to the board, despite the fact that four of these months were already closed and presented as complete to the board. One of the shocking things I learned from our CAO is that she doesn't actually close prior months -- this means that expenses can be booked to prior months (long after the board approved the financials) and the board/public is none the wiser to these changes. Literally, the only way you'd see these changes is if you did the exercise I did when we went from September to October and line up the last approved YTD total and see if that plus the next month's expenses equaled the next month's YTD #'s.

Now, since our CAO has previously told me that she has extensive experience in municipal accounting, I inquired if this was a normal practice -- as I know it is absolutely prohibited in publicly traded companies to adjust prior periods without notice to the board and the SEC. She claimed it was a 'default in the new accounting software.' Well -- I naturally did a little research. Municipalities follow the accounting rules outlined by GASB which states that prior period adjustments would need to be noted in the financials as "Prior period adjustments" --- this would seem that we are not in compliance with the GASB standards.

a. Accounts Debit Card Purchases Dated September, 2020 in the Amount of $2,728.30

This was ALREADY approved on 12/22/2021 -- for the EXACT same amount of the village hall card only. In December, they also approved the RedTail card -- but while the activity is in the report, it isn't on the agenda. So, weird.

b. Accounts Debit Card Purchases Dated October, 2020 in the Amount of $5,671.96

c. Accounts Debit Card Purchases Dated November, 2020 in the Amount of $3,596.10

d. Accounts Debit Card Purchases Dated December, 2020 in the Amount of $4,190.86

e. Accounts Debit Card Purchases Dated January, 2021 in the Amount of $3,783.13

For the rest of these, it looks like the amounts combine the Village Hall Card and the RedTail card -- and the details are in the reports separately. My big question here is what is RedTail buying for village hall so much and Lakewood Utilities:

October: Non-Redtail charges on the RedTail's Debit card: $505.80

November: Non-RedTail charges on the RedTail Debit card: $515.03

December: Non-RedTail charges on the RedTail Debit card: $3,617.57

January: Non-RedTail charges on the RedTail Debit card: $1,537.61

Does that seem odd?

Also -- why are we paying Leading IT with a credit card? Shouldn't that be a monthly invoice?

f. Accounts Payable Invoices Dated April 28, 2021 in the Amount of $305,349.24

2. Request Approval of Financial Statements: a. Village Financial Statements for the January, 2021

b. Village Financial Statements for the February, 2021 3. Items Removed from Consent Agenda - If Any

AGENDA ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION 4. Motion to Approve Ordinance No. 2021-07 – An Ordinance Approving the Village of Lakewood Annual Budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Honestly, I do not think this board should approve this budget. I do not believe that it has been properly notified to the public -- I think the budget's preparation has been slapped together and is an ever changing target as error upon error has been found. We didn't actually have the Budget Workshops as we normally do with discussions and questions -- that might have tried to get the budget closer to reality. And truth is since it does not show this current year to date (and the amendment is lacking at least $85K in known expenses) the fund balance projections are too far off to make a reasonable decision.

It should also be noted that the budget amendment did not pass in Friday Night's Meeting -- it appears to amend the budget, you need 2/3 of the corporate authority -- which totals 7, 2/3rds of which is 5) Odom and Eddy voted no and Phil did not vote -- so, the budget was not in fact amended.

5. Acknowledgement of Child Advocacy Centers Memorandum of Understanding and the Child Advocacy Board Protocol

This appears to be an update and extension of the understanding originally signed in October 2020. What I want to note here is the tracking changes that are shown -- this is an example of transparency to the board and the public that if things are updated, we can easily follow the changes. Thank you, Sgt. Winters!

Then after the Department and Trustee Comments -- the board will close the meeting. And then...

16. Oaths of Office Administered to David Stavropoulos, April Runge, Michael Fischer, and Tricia Babischkin at RedTail Golf Club 7900 RedTail Drive, Lakewood, IL 60014

No -- they did not update the numbering of this agenda. What we don't know is if, they will keep Zoom going to be able to share the swearing in of the United4Lakewood Team (this is OFFICIALLY the last time I'll call us that). I do know that we think about 50 people will be able to be at RedTail, and the night should be lovely -- so maybe we can spread outside a bit. We will be sworn in and I hope as many of you who can will join us Thursday at the Raue for our first meeting -- where spoilers, Dave is going to share the plan for 2021-2022!

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