Despite request, SLF denies financial statements

Despite request, SLF denies financial statements

7 13 17

Carlinville’s Shop Local First will not release financial statements despite recent attempts by the city of Carlinville to obtain such documents before deciding whether or not to pay dues to the organization.

Beth Toon, board president of Shop Local First, told members of the finance committee that her organization welcomes any member of SLF to attend the organization’s board meeting if they would like to look at bills or individual postings.

Last month, the finance committee’s Joe Direso said he would like to see the financial reports of Shop Local First before committing the city to paying dues.

“I spoke too soon,” Toon said. “The (SLF) board made a motion that anyone on this committee or on the council wanted to see the bills, they were welcome to come to the meeting and view whatever bill they were interested in. They did not like the fact that I volunteered bank statements. They don’t want to release bank statements.”

Toon added that members of the Shop Local First are welcome to attend the meeting and view any individual postings of bills.

“We have others on our board who sit on other boards that they said that is how they operate,” Toon said.

Direso and mayor Deanna Demuzio both debunked that statement, adding Winning Communities and the Chamber of Commerce both have financial statements available at their regular meetings.

The finance committee will not pay dues to SLF at this time.

In other discussion, the committee contemplated whether anybody on the city council would be interested in attending the Illinois Municipal League conference in Chicago Sept. 21-23.

While two board members, Sarah Oswald and Doug Downey expressed interest in attending, all showed concern about the financial aspect of attending the conference.

The price for a total package is $310 per member, rooms are $254 per night.

The city last sent members to this conference a few years ago.

There is about $1200 left in the training budget, but money to attend this event was not budgeted.

Money could also be partially funded from the economic development fund if needed.

The topic was tabled and further discussion will take place to try and find out how much it would cost and how many council members would like to attend.

It will be further discussed at Monday’s full council meeting.

The Tour de Milk bike ride, done in the fall, is a attention draw to get people to Carlinville. Any donations or money raised is given to Winning Communities or  the area food pantry.

The first year raised about $1,000 and last year wasn’t as much.

Tour de Milk provides the city the bills to be reimbursed for the event, in exchange for promoting the city of Carlinville to draw people to the event.