Local Ill. Library Board Wants 'People Feeling Pain' to Vote Tax Hikes for New Building

-By Warner Todd Huston

Even left-wing Morton Grove, Illinois is feeling the pinch of Tea Party principles as new town library board members begin revealing the perfidy of past board members that violated the state’s open meetings laws where they were found to be scheming to fool the taxpayers into hiking taxes for unnecessary new library building projects and other wasteful spending.

You might remember back in 2008 that Morton Grove was one of the first towns in American history to ban the Second Amendment within its jurisdiction, an action that went counter to the Supreme Court’s Heller decision. But despite the law city fathers tried to violate the Constitutional rights of their citizens until the threat of lawsuits forced the city to reverse course.

Morton Grove’s left leaning city officials, though, kept at their agenda in other ways after the change to their handgun ban in 2008. During 2010 library board meetings, for instance, it appears Morton Grove library board members violated Illinois open meetings laws by holding closed door meetings called executive sessions that they did not properly record and/or did not conduct approved business.

It has been discovered that in one meeting board members discussed altering local library operations in order to cajole citizens into voting for a tax hike to allow the board to initiate new library building projects. In one case a female board member suggested changes in library operations because, “I think it’s important that people feel pain.”

Also, as reported, “The other female trustee immediately followed that comment by suggesting a reduction in parking and relocating the youth services department to the front of the library to make patrons realize a referendum is needed.”

Those two trustees were Renee Miller and Bernadette Fahy.

Board members also discussed politically favored town residents onto the Village Board in order to make the new library projects easier to pass.

Things are a’changing in Morton Grove, though. New board members ran for office on a reform slate and promised to end these sort of back-room dealing and secret political machinations.

Running on a slate, Paul Berg, Catherine Peters, Albers and David Calimag swept the April 7 Consolidated Election on promises of transparency and a plan to eliminate all library renovation projects. The new majority on the board refers to itself as B-PAC.

This trio have “self-reported” their predecessors to the state for violating the open meetings act.

The Cook County State’s Attorney already determined that the act was violated because 11 of 19 executive sessions between Dec. 10, 2009 and April 14, 2011 were conducted without required audio or visual recordings.

There won’t be any prosecutions of past board members, of course, but this is a good step toward repairing the sullied image of the board.

Naturally, deposed board members are claiming that it’s all been “taken out of context.”

“You can’t take that seriously, it’s out of context,” Hoffman said. “Do you really think the trustees would tell the director to turn the air conditioning off while people were in the building? And I’ve said it too, half heartedly, that we should move the youth services section to the front of the library and have the residents who are of voting age using the basement and see how it’s not suitable for habitation.”

In any case, what ever happened in past. It is up to the new board members to properly observe the law and to stop scheming to rip off the tax payers for unnecessary building projects that need higher taxes to pay for them.

Kudos to the new board. But, remember, all eyes are upon you.

(H/T Newsalert)

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