Champagne Co. (ECWd) –
We began exposing malfeasance with the Sangamon Valley Public Water District using public resources for election purposes just a few weeks ago. You can read the many articles we have published about them on this link.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, other conflicting public documents appear.
We requested the minutes of a vote allowing the public body to participate in a 457b government deferred compensation plan, which is a pension plan.
“No such record exists”
Never mind that the Water District Act only allows participation in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. If there is no record, must the financial audit be wrong?
“The district sponsors a defined contribution pension plan known as the Sangamon Valley Public Water District Section 457 Government Deferred Compensation Plan. The plan has been authorized by the District Board of Directors and is administered by Lincoln Financial Group. (See page 25 of the audit)
According to the Illinois Comptroller’s Annual Financial Report filed by the District, they show no pension or retirement benefits. Meghan Hennesy is listed as the named official responsible for EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION while Kerry Gifford is the appointed official responsible for the MAINTENANCE OF GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL RECORDS. (District Retirement Funds/Retirement Benefits AFR Depot is at this link.)
Do you follow this?
According to the Lincoln Financial Summary Reports, there is a retirement program. (See pension plan summary reports at this link)
It’s better, not really.
The annual financial report indicates the following:
“The Sangamon Valley Public Water District does not adopt and is not required to adopt a credit order.(See deposit at this link)
What does the River Basin Act say about an appropriation order, commonly known as a budget?
(70 ILCS 3705/13) (from c. 111 2/3, par. 200)
Second. 13. The board shall establish the beginning and end of the fiscal year of the district, which constitutes its budget year, and at least thirty days before the beginning of the first complete fiscal year after the establishment of the district, and each year thereafter, the general manager prepares and submits to the board a draft budget that includes all operating and maintenance expenses for the following fiscal year. This draft budget shall be reviewed by the Board and subject to any revision or modification that may be determined by such Board, shall be adopted as the budget for the following financial year, and no expenditure for operating and maintenance expenses in excess of the budget shall be made during that financial year, unless unanimously authorized and directed by the advice. It is not necessary to include in this budget a statement of the necessary expenditure for payments of interest or principal on bonds or for capital expenditure, but it is the duty of the Council to provide for their payment as they arise. they become payable.
(Source: Laws 1945, p. 1187.)
As you can see, it is clear that many public records disputes raise the question of who is in charge of this place? How can you have a pension plan for trustees and employees and never have it approved? Why report to the controller that you have no plan when in fact you have produced financial documents proving the opposite? How did the auditor come to the position that this plan was approved by the council when these same people are unable to produce such a file?
According to the AFR file, they do not have a credit order, which is a budget, even though the law requires it.
I’ve requested copies of their budgets for the past 2 years, and we’ll update with a new article when we hear back.
If they really don’t have an enacted budget as required by law, then we’d agree that it’s time to elect directors who can follow the law rather than appoint those who can’t.
Alright, one more.
According to the annual financial report available on this link, the equalized assessed value of the district is ZERO! While we understand that the district does not levy tax at this time, that does not mean that the EAV is zero. Equalized assessed value is the assessed value assigned to properties in the district. According to the AFR file for Muhammad’s village, the EAV for Muhammad is $228,069,720.00.
If these people are unable to ensure that the public records are consistent and accurate, we have yet another reason to elect these people rather than appoint them to the county council.
Stay tuned for more amazing discoveries with this unique public agency in Champaign County.