On July 8, 2013, Jake Griffin wrote a Daily Herald article titled, "Where is your town hiding its salary report?" A report had come out from the Illinois Policy Institute; using their Ten-Point Transparency Checklist it rated local park districts and village governments.
I discovered that very few of the checklist items were on the Mt. Prospect Park District's website. By attending meetings, I had the pleasure of meeting Sue Walsh, one of the park board's commissioners. She is supportive of the Ten-Point Transparency Checklist and would like to see it adopted in full. I am pleased to say that Sue made a motion to put the board packets and other financial documents online. Sue's motion was supported by Commissioner Kurka and it passed.
Seeing board packet information is important because votes are taken on motions that are detailed in the packets and not detailed at the time of the vote. Included in this motion was to add the last four years of audit information, the treasurer's report and the Annual Summary of All Funds so residents can compare data from one year to the next.
One of Sue's priorities is helping residents have the park district THEY want. She listens to residents and brings forward their suggestions to the board. Sue has been diligent and persistent to push for more and more transparency.
Next on her list is to add online the current budget and prior four years. There is no information about each current employee that includes wages, salary, bonus, overtime, health, dental, life, pension and prior four years. Asking our local governmental bodies to be transparent in all ways helps residents become more knowledgeable in how they are being served.