October 16, 2014 – post 5

New Business for Approval.

Health Insurance renewal. Several comments were made about the low increases in health insurance costs and that we had made the right decision to join the consortium.

Elections stuff. A funny moment in which Trustee Svoboda declared her intent to run and was advised by the college attorney to abstain from voting on the election details. Thus there were several abstentions: Svoboda, O’Donnell, and Savage. Discussion of the dates especially regarding holidays and college closing days.

Approval of the Naperville Center renovation. Trustee McGuire spoke very enthusiastically of the transformation of this center. Trustee Hamilton uncomfortable with demographic projections used for expansion and construction and declared she would not vote for the motion. She was the only no vote.

Trustee Discussion of Vendor Payments.

Trustee Hamilton spoke about her proposed change to policy removing the $15,000 restriction on what payments are reported to the BOT.

She stated that a change of leadership at the college is definitively needed.

She began to refer to a press release that had been made about a case of fraud. A very confusing argument ensued between Hamilton, Birt, and the college attorney about what could be revealed in public. Hamilton read a short press release about fraud under investigation. She argued that internal controls have to be reviewed. Said that she declined to approve financial statements because of knowledge of fraud.

O’Donnell asked when was the last time Hamilton worked as a CPA.

Someone was convicted of fraud and sentenced to nine years.

See article

Birt scolded Hamilton for leaving the meeting for 20 minutes (corrected to 16) during the financial presentation. Hamilton said she had heard it before.

The attorney cautioned her that they have been asked by the state’s attorney’s office not to discuss the matter under investigation. He said that she could address the board policy.

Hamilton stated that she strongly opposes taxpayer dollars going to Breuder’s hunt club. There is no transparency. Savage argued that the reports of every payment would be overwhelming and would be micromanaging. Hamilton said, reports can be sorted by dollar amounts so that the largest ones are on top; what are we are afraid of? Svoboda asked how many more pages of accounts would have to be reviewed. Lynn Sapyta answered that it would take 12-18 extra pages and that it’s no problem to provide it.

Trustee Savage mentioned the new ethics hotline in her comments.

Trustee McGuire said that the hunt club is the most egregious expense and said that it was part of Breuder’s contract. She was surprised by it, but it’s not so alarming, and she has asked many questions about our finances. Declared that she would not vote for any changes.

Trustee Hamilton argued that it is her duty to review those expenses.

O’Donnell said that Hamilton never came to other board members about this concern. Hamilton responded, “You weren’t speaking to me, remember?”

Wozniak said that he had not heard from Hamilton about this issue. Hamilton said that she believed it should be discussed in public in a meeting.

Hamilton tried to argue that the IRS had disallowed things like the hunt club dues as deductions, but Birt cut her off saying that it’s not a free-for-all.