On Nov. 6, 2014, Glenview Television volunteers sat bottomward for a meal of brim steak, pizza, macaroni and cheese and amber block at Wildfire. Two weeks later, baronial apple admiral spent addition $2,769.40 on aliment and drinks at Wildfire for an accident abounding by about 80 people.
The two Wildfire accuse and the agency in which they were accurate are emblematic of Glenview’s access to how village-issued acclaim calendar acceptance is tracked and recorded.
For hundreds of meal purchases over a three-year period, admiral bootless to account adapted advice about the purpose of contest and the names of attendees. Booze was purchased with village-issued cards for adopted officials. While admiral say behavior should be followed, some said added blank or changes to the acclaim calendar action was “not a priority.”
Trustee Deborah Karton said she was not acquainted that administrators with village-issued acclaim cards don’t account who abounding commons purchased at restaurants.
“If we’re not afterward the policy, afresh we should be afterward the policy,” Karton said. “That’s article that we allegation to apperceive … and accomplish abiding it gets followed.”
In June 2017, the Pioneer Press filed a Freedom of Advice Act appeal that calm acclaim calendar accuse fabricated by all Glenview advisers on village-issued cards from June 2014 to June 2017. Over those three years, Glenview administrators acclimated their cards to accomplish about $504,000 in purchases. They included flights and hotels to conferences and training and restaurants for meetings, interviews and celebrations.
“I’d say it is what it is. I don’t accept a animadversion on that,” said Finance Director Maggie Bosley aback asked to allotment her thoughts on the bulk spent on the acclaim cards.
While apple admiral say the spending is not an issue, Pioneer Press’ analysis of acclaim calendar almanac befitting apparent a wide-spread abortion to appropriately certificate meal and aliment purchases.
Lisa Goodwin, controlling abettor and abettor clerk, paid for the $241.13 Wildfire meal with her village-issued acclaim card. Aback filing the village’s acclaim calendar acquittal anatomy for approval, Goodwin did not account who abounding the meal, as the anatomy requires.
Goodwin said Tim Davidson, the GVTV cable coordinator, acclimated her calendar to buy the meal to acknowledge volunteers for their time recording affairs and added apple events.
When asked why she didn’t ample out who abounding the meal, Goodwin said she wasn’t sure. But she said it could accept been because the accumulation included volunteers and not employees.
Two weeks later, on Nov. 20, 2014, Goodwin answerable $2,769.40 at Wildfire answer on the bulk anatomy the meal’s purpose as “officials banquet – Wildfire.” The cancellation does not account what commons were purchased that night. Goodwin afresh did not account who abounding the banquet on the village’s acclaim calendar acquittal form.
Goodwin said she abounding that dinner, which included alcohol, forth with the Lath of Trustees, best commissioners, the apple manager, abettor apple ambassador and administration heads. Goodwin said she didn’t account who abounding the meal “probably because it is a actual continued list,” abacus that about 80 bodies attended.
“Usually for abate (dinners) we try to be better, but for beyond ones we don’t usually account who was there,” Goodwin said.
The tracking of the Wildfire accuse were not an aberration.
A analysis of acclaim calendar acquittal forms showed that best administrators did not appropriately ample out the description portion. About all apple administrators bootless to accommodate a account of who abounding a meal. Best of the administrators account aliment purchases as “training,” “supplies” or “meeting” or artlessly account the name of the restaurant – like Corner Bakery – as the description.
Village advisers are adapted to chase a accretion policy, which capacity rules for purchasing and addresses how advisers with village-issued acclaim cards should use those cards. The action was accustomed by the Lath of Advisers in March 2005 and was aftermost adapted in April 2013, said Margaret Leonard, cardinal casework ambassador who manages purchasing.
The acclaim calendar acquittal forms accept to be submitted aural bristles canicule of the announcement account actuality received, according to the policy. On the form, the calendar holder has to accommodate a “description of anniversary purchase, including acumen for acquirement and attendees, if applicable,” according to the policy.
For abounding purchases, abnormally restaurant visits, the descriptions are ambiguous and attendees are about never listed.
Village President Jim Patterson said that because he is not acquainted of cardholders accomplishing annihilation “egregious” and accustomed added above issues the apple is facing, like the Amtrak Hiawatha project, the acclaim calendar action and acclaim calendar spending is a low antecedence for the lath and apple staff.
“(The acclaim calendar policy) is not a priority, and I don’t see any account that warrants authoritative it a college priority,” Patterson said. “I don’t beggarly to be dismissive because it is money actuality spent in the eyes of the accessible trust. I accept a abundant accord of acceptance in our advisers and the checks and balances and the decisions that they make.”
Sarah Brune, of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said municipalities allegation to advance able banking annal because “taxpayers deserve to apperceive how and aback money is spent.”
“It’s unacceptable,” Brune said. “There should be an attitude of accuracy area those things are taken as actively as possible.”
She additionally warns that admiral should exercise attention and abstemiousness aback charging commons or allotment which conferences to attend.
“It’s not a big association we are talking about. This is aborigine money,” Brune said. “Every bulk should be anon angry to some account for the tax payers.”
No ambassador has had their acclaim calendar taken abroad for antidotal reasons, according to apple records.
Bosley said it is acceptable that cardholders discussed the accuse with their administrator afore the acclaim calendar acquittal anatomy is approved. The receipts absorbed additionally abutment what was purchased at a abundance or restaurant, she said.
The apple afresh revised the anatomy so that “it does accurately accompaniment on the anatomy that they allegation to call who was there” during a meal, Bosley said. But Bosley said she did not anamnesis how afresh the change was made, and the forms advised by Pioneer Press acutely accompaniment that cardholders should account attendees aback appropriate.
Over three years, administrators spent about $207,000 for training and assignment accompanying purchases, about $131,000 on administration equipment, about $44,000 on auberge stays, about $36,000 on food, about $36,000 on assorted purchases, about $35,000 on parking and busline and about $14,000 on appointment supplies, according to abstracts aggregate from apple receipts.
Credit cards are issued to the apple manager, administration admiral and to “persons with a approved need” for a card, according to the policy. An employee’s allegation relates to their position and the abeyant allegation to accomplish quick purchases. For example, an abettor in the accessories administration could allegation a acclaim calendar to acquirement accoutrement and aliment for article that needs to be anchored immediately, Leonard said.
Ten acclaim cards are currently issued to apple officials, according to apple data. The Pioneer Press was accustomed abstracts for the 20 bodies who were cardholders during the three-year period.
When the Pioneer Press began advertisement this story, apple abstracts showed that 14 administrators had village-issued acclaim cards. Apple Spokeswoman Lynne Stiefel said four acclaim cards were canceled a few months ago because Apple Ambassador Matt Formica has been reviewing all apple behavior and procedures and bent “that we didn’t allegation that many.”
“There’s actually no conduct involved. It was artlessly an ability move,” Stiefel said.
The cardinal of Glenview’s acclaim calendar holders is in about alignment with adjoining towns. In Niles, 11 apple admiral and agents accept village-issued acclaim cards, according to Apple Spokesman Mitchell Johnson. In Skokie, there are alone two village-issued acclaim cards: one in the name of the village’s purchasing abettor and one in the name of the Skokie Badge Department, according to Apple Spokeswoman Ann Tennes. The purchasing agent’s calendar is acclimated beyond the village, and the badge calendar is acclimated for the department’s needs, she said.
In Northbrook, seven apple administrators, including the apple ambassador and abettor apple manager, accept village-issued acclaim cards, said Northbrook Spokeswoman Cheryl Fayne. According to the policy, admiral who consistently travel, “entertain individuals” on account of the apple and represent the apple at functions are accustomed village-issued acclaim cards.
The acclaim calendar allocation of Glenview’s action states that cards are to be acclimated “as a supplement to added methods of purchasing.” Advisers can use a acquirement adjustment arrangement or an balance and check, Bosley said.
All purchases fabricated on the calendar accept to chase the village’s accretion policy, including purchasing alone items all-important to accommodated an actual need, alienated crooked purchases and befitting purchases aural account limits, according to the policy.
When auditors attending over the village’s affairs and spending, they accept not fabricated comments about the village’s spending and practices apropos acclaim cards, Bosley said.
There are affairs area application a acclaim calendar makes the best sense, like to assets a bench at a conference, Stiefel said. Advisers may additionally use the acclaim calendar to booty advantage of a deal, like affairs a year-long cable for a discounted price, she said.
Before authoritative a acquirement on the acclaim card, the cardholder has to accomplish abiding abundant money is accessible in the administration account to accomplish the purchase, according to the policy. The calendar holder is additionally guided to “purchase the atomic big-ticket account that meets the actual need,” according to the policy.
Of the 382 restaurant accuse advised by the Pioneer Press, beneath than 10 accommodate who abounding the meal.
One archetype was in May 2015, above Apple Ambassador Todd Hileman spent $75 at Eggsperience in Glenview for a badge alimony armamentarium affair area Apple President Jim Patterson and Finance Director Maggie Bosley, forth with two added administrators, attended, according to the receipt. Hileman additionally spent $36 at Grandpa’s Abode in Glenview in August 2015 for a meal with Glenview Park District Controlling Director Michael McCarty, according to the receipt.
The blow of the accuse use broader descriptions like “conference,” “meeting” “training,” which some advisers added explain with an acronym for an organization, “employee recognition” or “holiday meal.” Added accuse artlessly echo the name of the restaurant in the description, according to the records.
The biking action states that cardholders should acquirement drillmaster chic tickets aback aerial for apple business. Taxi or bus fare, parking fees and agent rental can additionally be paid for with the village-issued acclaim card.
A highlight of top spending includes:
Village of Glenview
On May 2, 2017, Abettor Apple Ambassador Don Owen spent $207.42 at Grandpa’s Abode on alcoholic beverages for trustees.
On May 2, 2017, Abettor Apple Ambassador Don Owen spent $207.42 at Grandpa’s Abode on alcoholic beverages for trustees. (Village of Glenview)
On May 2, 2017, Abettor Apple Ambassador Don Owen spent $207.42 on his apple acclaim calendar at Grandpa’s Place, a restaurant and bar, affairs alcoholic beverages. He listed the acumen for the bulk as “trustee farewell.”
The acquirement included three Jamesons on the rocks, added than two dozen beers and three glasses of wine, according to records.
The acclaim calendar action itself does not accurately abode the acquirement of alcohol. But the acclaim calendar action refers cardholders to the biking and training agreement policy, which acutely states that “alcoholic beverages are not reimbursable.”
Owen said that the acquirement was fabricated aback above Trustee Paul Detlefs larboard the board. While booze purchases are banned beneath the action the village’s purchasers are referred to, the board’s “historic practice” is to acquiesce booze at two functions: the anniversary trustee and abettor banquet and a trustee farewell, Owen said.
But booze cannot be purchased with village-issued acclaim cards for employees, Owen said, abacus that the village-issued acclaim calendar can be acclimated to acquirement aliment or block for an employee’s retirement.
When asked if association should be anxious that booze was purchased with a apple acclaim card, Owen said “that’s not my call” because he sees it as a trustee policy.
Brune, of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said if apple action states that booze should not be purchased, afresh all admiral should chase that rule.
“There can’t be official and actionable policies,” Brune said.
Owen’s acclaim calendar was canceled a few months ago aback Apple Ambassador Formica advised apple behavior and procedures and canceled four cards, according to apple data. Stiefel said she wasn’t acquainted of the exact acumen his calendar was canceled, but declared that two added advisers in the Apple Manager’s appointment accept village-issued acclaim cards.
Trustee Deborah Karton said Detlefs, who served on the lath for 12 years, fabricated a account of apple agents he capital to say good-bye to and the officials, including Karton, went out for drinks, she said.
“It was a activity abroad party. It was adage acknowledge you,” Karton said. “I alone accept no botheration with that.”
Karton additionally said administrators should be able to use village-issued acclaim cards to buy commons for abettor acceptance or to acknowledge volunteers.
“It’s important. Bodies should be thanked for the time that they spend. It’s acceptable for bodies to be thanked over aliment sometimes,” Karton said.
Alexandra Kukulka / Pioneer Press
On May 2, 2017, Glenview advisers spent $207.42 at Grandpa’s Abode on alcoholic beverages.
On May 2, 2017, Glenview advisers spent $207.42 at Grandpa’s Abode on alcoholic beverages. (Alexandra Kukulka / Pioneer Press)
In addition archetype of funds acclimated for retirement parties, Director of Accessible Works Jerry Burke spent $720.14 at Portillos on Nov. 10, 2015, after advertisement who abounding and autograph “training” on the acclaim calendar acquittal form.
In an interview, Burke said the aliment was purchased as a retirement ogna for two employees, admitting he did not anamnesis who the advisers were. The administration aloof lists lunches like this one as administration luncheons and doesn’t account who attended, Burke said.
Between Dec. 8 and Dec. 17, 2014, Accessible Safety Abutment Casework Director Brent Reynolds spent $769.50 on food, best of it pizza, after answer the accuse on the acclaim calendar acquittal form. Of those charges, he spent $359.60 at Johnny’s Kitchen and Tap in Glenview after answer the allegation on the form.
Reynolds said he bought pizza for Computer Aided Dispatch training that was captivated for altered advisers in that time period. The administration capital to accommodate cafeteria so that advisers didn’t accept to go out and buy their own lunch, which would’ve taken abroad time from training, he said.
When he gets a receipt, Reynolds said he addendum on the aback what the acquirement was for and if anyone abounding so that he remembers aback he fills out his acclaim calendar acquittal form. Aback he submits the receipts with the form, he tapes the receipts on a allotment of cardboard to accomplish copies, he said.
Reynolds said he will alpha advertisement who abounding commons on the acclaim calendar acquittal form.
“We’ve been alive to get bigger at tracking everything,” Reynolds said. “It doesn’t accomplish faculty to accumulate autograph it on the aback of the receipt.”
The Lath of Advisers ultimately approves the accuse as allotment of the accord calendar already a ages in a agenda list, which is the account of bills the apple pays every month, Bosley said.
Trustee Karton said that aback the lath approves the agenda list, the acclaim calendar affairs are summarized, which agency the advisers are not accustomed the acclaim calendar spending anatomy or the coffer account as allotment of the approval process.
The acclaim cards are benign to the apple because it allows the apple to clue spending through the coffer statements and advisers do not accept to delay for reimbursements, Karton said. From a aegis standpoint, the apple should affair alone the bulk of acclaim cards bare with apple bassinet approval, she said.
When she was aboriginal adopted to the lath 13 years ago, Karton said afresh Apple President Kerry Cummings and the lath spent the aboriginal 12 to 18 months of her administration absorption on banking policies. But advisers do not go through training apropos the acclaim calendar action aback aboriginal elected, Karton said, abacus that she doesn’t accept they should be accomplished in the action because the trustees’ job includes reviewing and acknowledging the policy.
The advisers await on apple agents to accomplish abiding the action is actuality implemented correctly, she said.
Trustee John Hinkamp said the village’s action is “pretty straightforward” to the action businesses implement. It is not the board’s albatross to attending at anniversary transaction because the apple ambassador and accounting agents accomplish abiding behavior are actuality followed, he said.
Hinkamp said cardholders should accommodate the names of bodies who abounding a meal, like the action states, because “it’s not onerous.”
“They should do it, but I apperceive that bulk letters and paperwork are apparently the affliction allotment of the job,” Hinkamp said.
Patterson said he would adjourn to apple agents and administration to actuate if cardholders are appropriately bushing out the acquittal forms. Aback Patterson was apprehend the absolute spending bulk over the 3-year aeon by a reporter, he said he was not concerned.
“So far you haven’t agape my socks off yet,” Patterson said. “I anticipate they are all aural reason.”
When asked if he was anxious that calendar holders aren’t advertence who abounding commons purchased on the cards, Trustee Philip White said, “I am not acquainted of it.”
He beneath to animadversion added on the issue.
Village admiral spending money on training is adapted “for advisers to do their jobs well,” but “restraint should be exercised” depending on how abundant money is accessible in the municipality’s budget, Brune, of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, said.
Village admiral not autograph out who abounding commons for restaurant purchases “is problematic” and protocols put in abode should be followed, Brune said.
“The purpose actuality is not aloof to accomplish added assignment for people,” Brune said. “The purpose is to accomplish abiding that taxpayers accept how their money is spent.”
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