Letter: Oversight of school funds
Updated: June 11, 2012 8:37AM
Oversight of schools fund
The Lyons Township trustee of schools manages $150 million of investments for township school districts. This entity is separate from Lyons Township and has a three-person, elected board. I became aware of the fund while serving on the Western Springs Elementary District 101 Board.
It is difficult to get information on this fund. As a board member, I had to submit Freedom of Information Act requests to get information about our investments.
To improve oversight, I have two proposals:
Create a website listing the names of board members, meeting dates and summaries of investment holdings.
Comply with the Open Meetings Act which requires establishment of meeting dates in advance of the fiscal year. Changes to meeting dates are to be published ten days in advance in a newspaper of general circulation in the area. Meetings are to be held at a time and place convenient to the general public.
After repeated requests and a threat to notify the Attorney General’s Office, the board set a meeting date in December but changed it several times. The public is allegedly notified of changes through a notice posted on their office door. The meeting was held at noon Dec. 27, hardly a convenient time for the general public. The April meeting date has changed twice and a new date has not been established as of this writing.
These simple proposals will begin to improve oversight of the fund.
Martin A. Brown