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updated: 8/7/2012 8:53 PM

Glen Ellyn pledges to improve online transparency

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After receiving an "F" from the Illinois Policy Institute for lack of online transparency, Glen Ellyn officials vowed Tuesday not to repeat their mistakes and unveiled plans for numerous changes to the village's website.

Nine of 22 local governments, including Glen Ellyn, received failing grades during the latest round of online transparency audits conducted by the watchdog agency called the "Local Transparency Project."

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The grades are based on, among other things, the online availability of public meeting schedules, government employee salaries and tax rates.

Institute officials said a score of 80, or a B-, was "easy" to achieve, but Glen Ellyn received a score of 49.1 when the group first reviewed the village's site in April. After the initial review, the village's score improved to a 54.3 when audited in June.

Village Manager Mark Franz and Village President Mark Pfefferman could not be reached for comment, but the village issued a prepared statement Tuesday afternoon.

"Prior to receiving the results of the institute's study, the village had already begun to consider a website redesign to better meet the needs of its residents, businesses and visitors," Franz said in the written statement. "A new website will not only reorganize the information available on the website to improve navigation and searchability, but will also improve upon critical transparency efforts noted in the study."

The village has created an implementation schedule for many of the improvements, as well as a new website to be introduced in 2013.

During the next month, village officials intend to add information on village memberships, employee compensation information, individual and yearly expenditures, and taxes and fees.

Since 2009, Glen Ellyn has posted complete village board agendas, packets, minutes, accounts payable registers, detailed quarterly management reports and videos on the website, according to the statement.

"We have come a long way with increasing the transparency of village government," Pfefferman wrote in the same statement. "We have a short way to go."

The transparency report, released last week, gave Lombard a perfect score and high marks to Elmhurst Unit District 205, Elmhurst, DuPage County, DuPage High School District 88 and Downers Grove.

But in addition to Glen Ellyn, it gave failing marks to Villa Park, Oakbrook Terrace, York Township, Glenbard High School District 87, Hinsdale High School District 86, Salt Creek District 48 and Butler Elementary District 53.

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