Board Meeting Recap – September 17, 2013

Hello All,

We had some great news come out of this meeting, primarily the repealing of a recent 2 cent a gallon motor fuel tax increase.  This was helped along by a personal visit from Phil Woodman, President of Woodmans grocery stores, to one of our Audit & Finance meetings.  He described how his gas station operates as a penny business that cannot pass along tax increases to customers as they will simply purchase their gas from someone else who is cheaper.  It is worth noting that none of the communities surrounding Carpentersville have a local motor fuel tax.  At the time, Carpentersville’s was up to 4 cents a gallon.

The repealing of this recent tax increase takes some pressure off of local gas stations which are tasked with competing against many competitors not located in Carpentersville.  In essence, this tax is paid by the seven or so gas station owners, which I consider to be unfair.  I’m glad that the increase has been done away with.

Another item voted on was a sorely needed fence for the portion of the Village Hall parking lot which houses our squad cars and police station.  Our Village Hall is located in a residential area with a large amount of foot traffic.  People naturally take the shortest paths and that frequently had them walking square through the police car parking lot.  These squad cars often need to leave the lot in a hurry, and having pedestrians meandering through at all hours was an accident waiting to happen. The fence that was approved serves a valuable function and will look good without splurging on unnecessary ornamental elements that would drive up the costs.

We also received an update on a street lighting project that could eventually replace our current street lights with LED lights.  I’ll be completely honest here, I’m skeptical of these lights as I have had numerous discouraging encounters with them in the past.  LED lights do not illuminate properly when temperatures drop below freezing, which they often do at night in Northern Illinois.  I purchased an outdoor lighting setup that was specifically branded as ‘for outdoor lighting’.  The bulb was supposed to illuminate to 150 watts but during most of winter I’m lucky to get 40 watts of illumination out of it, which renders it practically useless.  I’ll be following this street light project closely as I’m afraid there could be some serious issues with how bright they remain once winter sets in.

More good news during the meeting was shared by our Director of Finance, Cathy Haley.  She reported to the Board that our recent audit was completed and that for the first time anyone in the Village can remember – the audit found zero material weaknesses and zero material journal entry adjustments.  As the auditors revealed during a later presentation to the Audit & Finance Commission, only about 15% of the municipalities audited receive this designation.  It is an important achievement that Village staff and residents should be proud of, especially given the wake up call that Dixon, Illinois recently experienced when a massive amount of fraud was uncovered there which was allowed to perpetuate due to lax book keeping and controls.

Minutes of the meeting can be found here:

http://carpentersville.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=carpentersville_94e555fa7780e737e345707613a424a3.pdf&view=1

Video (with agenda) of the meeting can be found here:

http://carpentersville.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=39

Best Regards,

Kevin

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