Provenzano Calls for FOIA Application to County Grant Recipients

A statement given by McHenry County Board member Nick Provenzano to the Finance and Audit Committee Thursday morning:

Nick Provenzano

Nick Provenzano

When I was first elected to the County Board I had the opportunity to help shepherd through the first ever Ethics Ordinance in the County.I also led the fight to adopt a Whistle Blower Ordinance designed to root out potential corruption in County Government AND even within the operations of our vendors.

The Whistle Blower Ordinance protected those employees both internal and external that were brave enough to point out practices of theft and fraud in purchasing activities here in McHenry County.

As this committee is keenly aware the County has for several years now implemented surprise audits of Senior Service Grants recipient organizations.

And this committee is all too familiar with my recognition of those audit and my extensive efforts to make certain these audits are released to the public to ensure the highest levels of transparency because, it’s not our money were granting, it’s the taxpayer’s money and they have a right to know if it’s not being spent correctly.

Today, I have the opportunity to raise an idea not of my own creation and not even new to Illinois, but an idea that assures we and our not-for-profit partners move to an even higher level of transparency.

This paragraph in a Chicago Sun-Times editorial suggests information can be obtained from non-profits not generally considered under the Freedom of Information Act, if they are financed by government money.

This paragraph in a March 29, 2016, Chicago Sun-Times editorial suggests information can be obtained from non-profits not generally considered under the Freedom of Information Act, if they are financed by government money.

I would like to announce today my efforts, through this committee, to begin to investigate and bring to fruition a Grant Transparency Clause Resolution that builds on the current practice of grant audits to require any organization that accepts county grant dollars to follow the State Freedom of Information Act laws.

FOIA is one of the most effective investigative tools at the disposal of the general public to peer inside the inner operations of government and to know definitively how their tax dollars are spent.

This level of transparency should follow those tax dollars into the halls of non-profits as well.

This action should in no way be misinterpreted to cast a negative shadow on any of the wonderfully effective, efficient and hardworking non-profits in McHenry County.

This is a preventative measure that is designed to ensure the integrity of these operations continue years into the future and beyond the term of current personnel of high integrity whom we all work and interact with on a regular basis.

Therefore, I ask that Chairman Skala place on the agenda for the next Finance & Audit Committee meeting the item of Grant Transparency Clause so that this committee can begin to work with the State’s Attorney’s office and any other members of County government as needed to bring this concept to reality as quickly as possible.

The Taxpayer’s of McHenry County deserve nothing less.

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Yesterday, McHenry County Blog published, “Transparency – Follow the Money.”


Provenzano Calls for FOIA Application to County Grant Recipients — 26 Comments

  1. What’s the enforcement mechanism?

    That private citizens who have their FOIA requests declined can sue in court for damages and attorney fees a la Pete Gonigam’s $100,000 lawsuit against the county for the Zinke FOIA debacle?

    What kind of non-profit would be willing to expose itself to that kind of liability for inadvertent, unintentional, or grey-area denials of FOIA requests in order to receive the small-potatoes grants awarded by the county?

    This stupid display of populism will do nothing more than generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees annually for attorneys working in the county in compliance work on the front end and in judgments on the back end for wrongful denials.

    There will be no meaningful increase in transparency.

    But, that’s Nick for you.

  2. Where was McHenry County’s integrity when they threw our tax dollars away on fancy brick pavers all along Route 14 and built four totally useless Satanic oblelisks to boot?

  3. Cindy: Those projects McHenry County or Crystal Lake?

    Rawdogger: There is another approach which would negate the requirement for Nick’s proposal:


    I am amazed that the Atheists who are always after religious connotations in government have not sued to stop the Habitat for Humanity which professes to be a Christian organization.

    AND, how about Catholic Charities?

    Wait until CAIR starts to demand equal treatment!!

  4. The pillars were built with Tax Increment Financing District money by the City of Crystal Lake.

    They cost $16,000 each, which those of us outside the Virginia Street TIF District pay for.

  5. No, Carolyn joined the Council in 2009, and the TIF was adopted July 19, 2005.

    She was on the city Planning and Zoning Commission at the time, which may have had a hand in it.

  6. There may be another way or two to accoplish the goal, but I am greatful that someone is considering this…

    If it is “showboat” then please show us more…

  7. At the TIF dedication, she told me she was not on the council when it was authorized.

  8. hey cindy….maybe a little off the subject.BUT what is a Satanic obelisk ?….

    I don’t think i ever saw one…

    where are they located….?????????????

  9. Nick,

    Thank you for bringing up this topic and getting it introduced.

    This is exactly what we need to continue to improve transparency in McHenry County.

    I will be a “YES” vote for this when it comes to the full board and I look forward to this being on the agenda a lot sooner rather than later.


    Andrew Gasser
    County Board, District 1

  10. Bill?

    Along Route 14 in Crystal Lake. There are four of them.

    Cal has photos of them all over this blog.

    Don’t be facetous, Bill.

    You know exactly what an obelisk is.

    Obelisk: a tapering, four-sided shaft of stone, usually monolithic and having a pyramidal apex.

    AND they are ALL Satanic.

    Also I see Jeff is STILL not a Dead fan.

  11. Talk about a bad decision.

    I should set up a GoFundMe for better governance in McHenry County.

    If only the Andy Gassers of the world would subscribe, I could have the chance to make the world a better place.

  12. Truth be told:

    I would be the cheapest, most correctest political adviser in the county.

    Forget this Steve Wilson, self-aggrandizing BS.

    I’m pure and right.

  13. Satanic oblelisks, like the Washington Monument in DC?

    Lot’s of $$$$$ wasted in DC on feel good monuments.

    Are there allot of Mason’s around here also? 🙂

  14. I believe that Pam Althoff introduced a bill in Springfield acouple of years back addressing this similar issue…

    Targeting the IHSA if memory serves.

    It is an interesting concept and one that deserves scrutiny.

  15. I’m with “Questioning”.

    Why when this county is in such dire straits, and closing residents way too much to live here, are we giving money away to private agencies?

  16. THank you Cindy I do know what an obelisk is …

    I just didn’t know they were Satanic…

    what makes them Satanic….?….

    a lot of people are confused about what is Satanism and Satanic rites where do you get your knowledge ?

    Hollywood,TV or Steven King novels….or from actual research? …..

    Now I am going to look up the word facetious, to see if I should be mad or not

  17. lol Bill. All obelisks are Satanic. Go back to Babylon and you will know what they represent!

  18. The only thing evil about them is that they were used to spend down money from taxpayer money gifted to a developer (instead of giving it back).

    Cindy is a little off base and radical in her theory about a simple ‘shape’.

    You crack me up, Bill.

  19. I was wrong.

    I lumped something together.

    I apologize to all the Satanists reading this blog.

    I really meant to say that the oblelisks are Luciferian.


    Tell that story to the Luciferians on your simple ‘shapes’ theory.

    Sacred geometry is really huge.

    Don’t be obtuse in your rush to be blunt.

  20. Raaaa-dical Cindy!

    (smh)Try not to be a nut burger, you lose all credibility.

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