Kankakee park perks are part of plague, group says
Kankakee Valley Park District (KVPD) commissioners are apparently receiving freebies from the district, despite a district code barring such perquisites, reporting by the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) alleged recently.
The issue raised by the group relates to a Park District Code that states, “The members of such governing boards shall act as such without compensation.”
KVPD commissioners are alleged to have violated the law.
According to the Jan. 23, 2017 Board Minutes of the KVPD District Commissioners, the issue of free rentals was raised by the KVPD Director.
“Director [Dayna J.] Heitz said there is a park district facility policy she would like to change. It’s overly generous, to staff and negatively impacts the district,” reads Page 4 of the meeting minutes. “She is a big advocate for staff however we need to not do things for free, we can’t afford it.”
“The saddest part of this whole compensation issue is that it is people like this board, and many others, who think they can subvert the law and give themselves freebies on the backs of the taxpayers,” said the ECW group on its website.
The meeting minutes continue with comment from Commissioner Dave Skelly.
“Commissioner Skelly said we should sacrifice as well. Not a bad idea to show that everyone is tightening the belt. We will still offer 2 free rentals for non manned facilities for Commissioner,” the minutes read.
The ECW group proposes that the KVPD board “Immediately cancel everything previously or currently given to commissioners and follow the law as the legislature intended; Act as commissioners without compensation.”
ECW reports that this sort of compensatory action isn’t limited to the KVPD, but occurs in many districts, as well as on library boards, community college boards and other similar governmental bodies throughout the state. The group points to SB0953 as an attempt by the state legislature to clarify the matter.
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893 West Station Street
Kankakee, IL 60901