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  • Writer's pictureTricia Babischkin

Packet Sunday: March 23, 2021


Request Approval of Minutes: a. February 23, 2021 Regular Village Board Meeting

While I understand that we are currently without a Village Clerk, we are still legally required to have the minutes of meetings that have occurred submitted for approval and posted to the website. So -- where are the minutes from prior meetings on the website? Those minutes need to be posted to the website.

Additionally, the P&Z meeting minutes from 2020 haven't been posted to our website. Again -- another violation of the Open Meetings Act.

While I'm sure the administration will want to vilify whoever registers these complaints to the Public Access Counselor, it has to be noted that these rules aren’t even hard to follow -- why is it that our village can't be bothered? What's sad is that when Jan was our clerk, we didn't have these issues and SHE never even had access to the website to post the minutes. Yet, somehow she ensured that the Open Meetings Act wasn't violated. Our "Deputy Clerk" has access to the website -- but lacks the guidance of a clerk.

But if violating the OMA wasn't bad enough, it appears that our minutes themselves do not reflect the actions of the meeting. Specifically the tabling of items from the consent agenda.

What the minutes say:

What actually happened was that Trustee Odom asked to have items 2a and 2b removed and tabled until the items could be researched fully. These are the actual items from 2a and 2b:

Why is this important? It's important because the minutes are records of the decisions made by the board. They need to be approved accurately. They also need to be REVIEWED by the board who approves them -- so I'm wondering how many bother to read the minutes to catch these kinds of errors -- since we already know they think reading the financials is beneath them.

2. Request Approval of Financial Statements:

Before we can truly dig into this we need to acknowledge what's missing --- the restatement of September's financials. Here -- this is what Trustee Eddy had to say about that:

So -- I think it would be reasonable to have seen for board approval this restatement of September's numbers. But it's still not there. That's a problem, right?

Now, despite Trustee Augustine's offer to review with Amy these numbers with whoever she would like to bring, it appears that if that person is me, Trustee Augustine refuses to meet with Amy. That's ok, I'm not taking it personally that Trustee Augustine is obviously unwilling to meet with a resident who has shown repeatedly the desire to understand what is going on and do the legwork to ensure what she's being told is accurate. I have his notes (via FOIA from another concerned citizen). So, I can address a few things. He stated in his overview that there were 3 invoices that when converted from the old system to the new were now in September. This is how they are listed in his review:

When I look at these first two look like they were paid on pre-paid invoices in September and board approved in the 10/13/20 board packet. If I had to guess, this was paid out of the new system and no one bothered to let the person who was reconciling September know to enter these two in the old system. Naturally this would have been caught if someone had reconciled both September in the old and new systems -- but I'm sure this wasn't considered by our CAO/Finance Director/Budget Officer OR our Treasurer/Trustee Spouse.

This one is however rather curious. It was presented to the board on a Manual Checks list on 11/10/20. The check was cut on 10/27/20 -- but I'm guessing the invoice was due in September, which is why the new system thinks it's a September expense. But this one is important, because those Excel summary sheets aren't ever updated going back when we find something that needs to be corrected/restated. So -- September's expenses show $107,861 which is exactly what the board approved financials state. BUT, based on what we see in October, this really should have been $131,183.31 -- which means operating income for September isn't $34,168, but actually $10,846.

Don't worry -- here I've corrected this sheet for you:

(this is in this upcoming board packet for approval -- it's STILL wrong.)

So -- here's the thing -- One of the other things we've been missing since the conversion is the debit card reports (last one was presented to the board on 12/22), the manual checks, prepaid, and even the cash flow report for RedTail. I still hold these financials are not ready to be declared complete and perfect.

a. Village Financial Statements for the Periods May 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020.

ISSUE #1: Lack of detail in the new Cash & Investment Balance Sheet

Now we have a Cash and Investment Balance sheet that looks far different from what we've seen before.

Here's September's:

This is October's:

Apparently, we are no longer noting a reserve, nor are we sharing where our funds are kept. Some of our funds are LEGALLY required to be kept in interesting bearing accounts -- so much for transparency. From this new report, I can't easily see if the $123K that was taken from the Impact Fee Fund TWICE has been corrected. If I can't and I look at these numbers a lot -- how would any board member who is looking at these financials? I thought this board was committed to transparency? How is making things HARDER to see transparency?

And while this may seem petty -- it's important -- if you are going to SHOW the cents and not round -- they need to be accurate. I'm guessing that not every single account we have has no change in it. And if I understand this correctly, this is a custom report from the system, not an Excel report like the old one -- so it should HAVE the proper change already.


ISSUE #2: The Summary of General Fund Revenues & Expenditures is still wrong. Given that the notes I've provided were not enough for our Trustee, Treasurer, CAO/Finance Director/Budget Officer, and Business Analyst Temp to find -- I've drawn it out to help:


ISSUE #3: RedTail's Prior Fiscal Year Comparison Report has errors. Noted Above.


ISSUE #4: Still questions on the change from September to October.

I've gone through the notes, I've been able to validate (though I still believe that September should be re-presented to the board) most of them. However, there are a few that I'm uncertain of:

Golf Course Fund/F&B Department/Paper Products (8222.000)

YTD September is $2,724.11

October Expenses : $2,222.62

October YTD: $5,418.86


The rationale for this is:

Except that in EVERY case where there was a duplicated journal entry, the result was that October was LOWER than September YTD + Oct Expenses. That makes sense, if something was double entered in September and then corrected the new YTD would be expected to be lower. So, this one GL number stands out to me as different, in that the year to date in for October is HIGHER than was expected. This looks a lot more like one of those invoices entered in October and booked to September after September was closed.

b. Village Financial Statements for the Periods May 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020.

Issue #1: Errors on the Summary of General Fund Revenues & Expenditures Report


Issue #2: RedTail's Prior Fiscal Year Comparison Report has errors.

Even if you excuse the fact that September's number needs to be restated to be accurate -- you can't excuse the fact that the Revenue Per Round is still wrong! This was noted by a Trustee as a formula error and you'd think that one of the three sets of eyes would catch it. Also -- that box should be called Revenue per Round, not Income -- as Income is Revenue LESS expenses.

c. Village Financial Statements for the Periods May 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Congratulations -- there doesn't appear to be a typo on the Summary sheet in public properties again and in THIS set of financials the RedTail Excel calculation is FINALLY corrected. Now, the fact that September's expenses are not correct is still an issue -- but I think everyone gets my point about the accuracy of the financials.

This of course made me see the next problem -- apparently the budget numbers didn't convert -- we appear to be missing the $100,000 budgeted from General Fund to General Capital Fund:

3. Request Approval of Bill Lists: a. Accounts Payable Invoices Dated March 24, 2021 in the Amount of $91,772.08 4. Items Removed from Consent Agenda - If Any


1. Motion to Approve Resolution No.2021-R(04). A resolution approving an intergovernmental agreement with the State of Illinois and the Village of Lakewood appropriating funds for the Haligus Road Resurfacing Project.

2. Motion to Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to Execute a Contract with GPS Technologies for upgraded units.

In the write up, it states that the increase in the GPS will be covered by an increase in cart fees -- is this the increase that already occurred OR will there be another cart fee increase coming? That was unclear.

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