Illinois Leaks Spotlights CL Park Board Perks

Reprinted with permission from the Edgar County Watchdogs’ Illinois Leaks:

Crystal Lake Park District Commissioners gift themselves thousands, while wanting to sell Bonds –

Crystal Lake, IL. (ECWd) –

CLPD Chairman Debbie Gallagher

While the Crystal Lake Park District wants to sell $3.5 million in Bonds for mostly routine maintenance items, capital projects, and other things, the Commissioners gift themselves perks and compensation in violation of the Park District Code.

The Northwest Herald wrote an article (here) about the district’s most recent meeting where they talked about the Bonds.

They also stated the Board would vote on May 17, 2018, whether to authorize selling the Bonds and that they are subject to a backdoor citizen referendum to force the question onto the ballot for November.

Last fall we received a FOIA response from the park district detailing just how much their park district commissioners receive … for being commissioners, and it is astounding!

First – according to the Park District Code they can receive NOTHING. Section 4.1 of the Park District Codeexplicitly states that Commissioner “shall act as such without compensation.” The Illinois Governmental Ethic Act defines compensation as “any money, thing of value, or economic benefit conferred on, or received by, any person in return for services rendered, or to be rendered, by himself or another.

We also believe these gifts violate the Gift Ban Act and Article VIII of Section 1 of the Illinois Constitution.

Here are the freebies received by Crystal Lake Park District Commissioners:

  • According to their policy (see here), Park Board Commissioner receive the same benefits as full-time employees
  • Free Beach Access
  • 50% discount on certain concession stands at Main Beach, Golf Learning Center, and Boncosky Sports Complex
  • Free Park District ball field rental (nonpeak) with possibility during peak
  • Free (includes family members) participation in park programs
  • Free building rental – including Park Place
  • Free beach use for family members also
  • Free boat rental (off-peak) and 50% discount on peak hours – includes family members
  • Free Boat Ramp Key and boat ramp access
  • Free Fisherman Key
  • Free use of picnic areas at Veteran Acres, Woodscreek Park, Sterne’s Woods
  • Free Unlimited Golf (includes family members) at Lippold Family Golf Center – unlimited driving range and miniature golf
  • 10% over cost (discounted) for Golf Learning Center Pro Shop
  • Free passes to Hound Town Dog Park
  • Discounted Athletic Teams
  • Free Racket Club Memberships (includes family members) – which includes: no initiation fees and no dues – free walk-on court time, half price tennis lessons, discounts on Pro Shop merchandise


Lots of free stuff for a job that is supposed to be without compensation!

We suspect this will be another case where the McHenry County State’s Attorney turns a blind eye and allows the taxpayer to be abused, much like has happened with the Algonquin Township.

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Illinois Leaks Spotlights CL Park Board Perks — 19 Comments

  1. Yes, I know. the pool is a bit much as the august commissioners could swim in the lake.

    But Madam Gallager said she’s ‘afraid of the peons urinating in the lake and the bacterial count could be high. “We need the pool for the Park Commissioners’ personal hygiene PLUS we can use it all year long, too,’
    she said.

  2. How is it possible this is uncovering bigger crooks than the Miller clan? [tongue-in-cheek remark]

  3. NOTHING is too good for the elite Commissars when it’s at the taxpayers expense, of course.
    Entitlement whores, one and all.

  4. Yup, Townships are even worse.

    I know it’s hard to believe.

  5. These people serve without pay. These comments are chicken.

    Do you prefer a system like the School Boards wherein the Board members serve without pay and all they get is preferential treatment for their kids from the Teachers’ Union, and those governing boards are chosen by the Teachers’ Union?

  6. I prefer them to stop stealing just to build their private dynasty.

  7. Inasmuch as the article suggests the States Attorney will likely turn a blind eye, has anyone actually asked for a criminal investigation into the facts in this article? If so, then we really need to find a new State’s Attorney that is actually tough on crime and willing to do the job of State’s Attorney without preference or prejudice. Why are so many of our elected officials and government employees above everything?

    Lance left office with a dead baby in a box. Lance swore she buried the baby. We know she fabricated documents to cover it up because the baby was still in the Coroner’s office. The family members of that baby deserved to have the baby interned where Lance said the baby was buried. Were the graveside prayers left by Mom and Dad in vain? What did our States Attorney do there? Lance is really a nice lady so she got a pass from our State’s Attorney! This was no traffic ticket, it was a dead baby!

    Kim Zinke – investigated by the ISP – lots and lots of pills found one account placed the court at 1200 (IDK if that’s true but there clearly was enough to charge her.) Reaction by state’s attorney – HUMM recusal – why? Kim was married to Andy who just happened to be the former Under-Sheriff. There was no legal reason to recuse himself and his office. Now the Appellate Prosecutor was willing to go to a blind plea on misdemeanor despite the fact that Kim had taken an oath to uphold the law. Thus making her conduct all the more disgusting. Total BS (like her diction). But what was the reason Pat K. Didn’t Act? Kim wasn’t very nice at all. Was he placating the old guard?

    Miller & Co? Bob is such a nice guy even if he robed the road district – too tough to make a case to a jury? Ha! Give me a break.

    Crystal Lake Park District freebies – but they are such nice people! 50% off actual prices is likely an economic loss to the District. What public purpose is served by all of the gifts. Yes, these are gifts! AND THIS IS CORRUPTION. These “public servants” have bellied up to feed at the District facilities.

    Look at all of the free stuff! Free Beach Access, Park District ball field rental, participation in park programs, building rental, beach use for family members, boat rental, Boat Ramp Key, boat ramp access, Fisherman Key, picnic areas Unlimited Golf, Hound Town Dog Park, and Racket Club Memberships. I’m sure nobody at the Park District has accounted for all of the free giveaways.

    The States Attorney ought to take action! Instead its “what to do, what to do, what to do?” Why exactly was our states attorney dubbed Lou’s successor anyway?

    If there is an attorney out there that has at least a set of squirrel balls, please save us from this administration! we will support you!

    If we cant get a new States attorney then everyone needs to “volunteer” at the park district or get elected to some stupid board.

  8. oh that crack ace cub reporter for the Northworst Herald is on top of things. That rag couldn’t find a story if it hit him in the face. as opposed to borrowing the money and giving it away, how about they stop giving it away? With all that free stuff elimination of the freebies might save a few dollars.

  9. Local police could be asked to investigate.

    The State’s Attorney does investigations in very few situations.

    Algonquin Township is one those.

  10. Yea Frank: Miller erased the computers as he went out of office according to one article in this blog and that alone should have been enough to get him charged.

    But the Chief Law enforcement officer of the County has done nothing and probably will do nothing.

    How can any public official explain away that he deleted records? Easy, just claim that they were personal and voilà all gone.

    Since they are gone, no need to worry about the destruction of records laws.

    I digress, at least Crystal Lake Park District is open and telling about the ripping off of the people!

    Does any elected official even worry about doing the right thing anymore?

  11. Watching? You are really that stupid? I didn’t even read it and I know it means some pigs are more equal!

  12. Years ago, when I lived in Crystal Lake, I’d run the trails at Veterans Acres/Sterns Woods early in the morning. On one such foray, I was informed by a group of people picking berries that the park was closed and I was trespassing on public land. I laughed at them and asked what they were doing there. They said they were with the park district.

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