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Article posted: 3/18/2013 5:00 AM

Our library trustees should all live here

In 2012, it cost Elk Grove Village Library taxpayers $4,277 to send two non-taxpayer trustees to a national conference. For one trustee it was $2,853 ($2092 for hotel, meals, limo; $245 for registration; $516 for airfare) and the other was $1,424 for the same conference ($818 for hotel, meals, limo; $220 for registration; $386 for airfare).

While they are Elk Grove Village library trustees, their property taxes go to supporting the Schaumburg Township Library. So they travel on the tax dollars residents east of Rohlwing Road pay to support the Elk Grove Library.

A quirk in the state law created this unique type of elected municipal library official. Imagine if our school, township, village or park district boards were populated with officials elected under the same scenario. They could vote for themselves to receive free governmental services or education, or to raise your property taxes, and yet are never financially impacted by those decisions since they would not be paying property taxes to the local governmental agencies to which they were elected.

That is neither fair nor responsive to a taxpayer's right to representative local government. In order to truly represent the taxpayers of the Elk Grove Village Public Library, I would suggest the library board:

Be an advocate for a change in the state statute that would limit the election of library trustees to the library receiving their property taxes. It is common sense that an individual should not have the ability to be elected to both the library which receives their property taxes as well as to a library to which they pay no property taxes.

In the interim, since the taxpayers east of Rohlwing Road support the facilities, programs and operating costs of the Elk Grove Village Library through their property taxes, adopt a policy that precludes non-taxpayers from receiving the same library benefits as the taxpayer.

Gary Parrin

Elk Grove Village

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