SLF discusses plans for fundraiser
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Members of Shop Local First (SLF) met for their regular meeting July 20, at which time the group discussed plans for next month’s Last Days of Summer fundraiser, as well as for Christmas for Soldiers and Blackburn’s homecoming.
In a discussion about the group’s membership, it was reported that there are about 39 members, which is down from more than 60 that are listed on the web site. It was explained that an effort is underway to collect dues from members who are up for renewal. It was also pointed out that the web site needs to be updated to include the accurate date, time and location of meetings.
When the topic turned to the city’s repeated requests for copies of the organizations financial records, SLF President Beth Toon expressed her frustration at claims the city was denied copies of those records. According to Toon, who also serves on Carlinville’s City Council, the city was not denied the records. Even though requests were made at both city Finance Committee meetings and City Council meetings, the records were never produced. At the most recent Finance Committee meetings, Toon told the finance committee a request would have to be made to the SLF Board.
SLF Treasurer Cindy Geninatti and Board Member Cheryl Beanblossom spoke of the offense they took at the implication the financial records are in question. Geninatti explained SLF’s financial records are all kept by hand and are not computerized, which makes compiling and printing reports difficult. She reported that she is happy to answer any questions about the group’s finances and that the records are available for viewing in the SLF office.
As a member of SLF, the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat submitted an electronic written request dated July 21, asking for copies of SLF bank statements (all pages, including canceled checks) for the last two years, from June 2015 through June 2017; a copy of the group’s rules and/or bylaws; a list of the current membership; and the names and contact information of those currently serving on the board of directors.
The board held a brief conversation about the city’s membership in SLF and it was noted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would be submitted to the city asking for the organizations to which the city is currently paying dues.
On July 20, the city received a FOIA request from SLF asking for audio tapes for Carlinville Finance Committee meetings dated Aug. 8, 2016; Feb. 13, 2017; June 12, 2017; and July 10, 2017. The FOIA also requested the audio tape for the city of Carlinville meeting dated Aug. 15, 2016; a copy of the complete informational packet given to the city of Carlinville by Chamber President Tim Rhodus at the Aug. 15, 2016, City Council meeting; a copy of the Carlinville written policy of requirements in order for a city to pay dues to join an organization; a list of the organizations the city of Carlinville has joined in 2016 and 2017 year to date, the amount of their dues paid annually and each of their required and/or requested financial statements.
On July 24, the city of Carlinville recieved a FOIA request from John Kraft of Edgar County Watchdogs requesting the following: a copy of all donations, dues payments, membership payments, etc., to all non-profit, not-for-profit, or any other organization, other than the Illinois Municipal League, for the past four years; a copy of statutory authority for the above donations/payments; and a copy of all requests for financial information of all organizations receiving public funds in item one.