DuPage Election Commission misses deadline

 
 
Updated 10/4/2011 5:56 PM

A "miscommunication" is being blamed for the DuPage Election Commission missing a deadline to submit information to the county about the way it operates.

County board Chairman Dan Cronin had given two dozen independent boards and commissions that he appoints until Friday to submit copies of their budgets, ethics policies, personnel policies, bylaws and other documents.

 

On Monday morning, Cronin issued a statement expressing his displeasure over the fact that the election commission and the North Westmont Fire Protection District both missed the deadline.

"We've asked for very basic information that should be readily available to anyone," Cronin said. "Their failure to comply -- or even respond to the request -- raises more questions than it answers."

But by the afternoon, the election commission's Executive Director Bob Saar said the reason the information wasn't sent was because of a "miscommunication" with his staff before he went out of town.

"They thought I wanted to review it," Saar said. "I told them that I didn't. They will have it in to the chairman by the end of the day."

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Saar said the election commission welcomes the review by Cronin, which was prompted by financial scandals involving the DuPage Housing Authority and the DuPage Water Commission.

Cronin replaced the housing authority board after a series of federal audits showed that the agency misspent or failed to account for more than $10 million. And the water commission has been dealing with the fallout of accidentally spending $69 million in reserves through poor accounting practices and lackadaisical financial oversight.

"We certainly understand what Dan is trying to accomplish," Saar said. "Unfortunately, it sends the wrong message that we didn't send it (the information) in."

Once all the information is gathered, county officials are planning to work with a consultant to conduct a productivity analysis of each entity.

"I expect that our request will be fulfilled in the near future," Cronin said, "so we can move forward on our effort to bring more transparency and accountability to local government."