UPDATED: Read the Letter – Summit Responds to BGA

The BGA’s CEO urges Village of Summit’s board to pass and enforce protocols that will help protect the public from cronyism and dubious business practices.

Dear Mayor Strzelczyk and Village Board:

My name is Andy Shaw, I am President and CEO of the Better Government Association, a Chicago-based nonpartisan nonprofit that for more than 90 years has exposed problems in government and advocated for reform.

As you surely know, we recently researched a news story with FOX 32 about questionable taxpayer-backed loans involving your now-former village administrator, among other village officials.

While we believe the village was right to call for an audit in the wake of those disclosures, we continue to have concerns that we wanted to convey, to suggest other measures that will ensure a more transparent and professionally run operation of benefit to taxpayers in your community.

First off, we strongly encourage you to hire an independent outside auditor that will not only review the circumstances of the aforementioned loans – but all finances and financial controls.

We do not think the loans should be treated as an isolated incident, but rather as an alarm that other troubles may exist.

Meanwhile, our research has prompted other questions about the way the municipality is run. As such, we encourage consideration of the following:

  • An anti-nepotism rule.
  • An executive order or other measure that would lead to local elected officials and their political parties no longer accepting campaign donations from village employees and village vendors.
  • A ban on village contracts going to businesses owned or operated by village officials.
  • Tighter protocols on hiring to ensure objectivity.
  •  Greater transparency, partly by updating your municipal web site with more – and more up-to-date – information.

This is not an exhaustive list. But we believe these items represent a good start.

The residents of Summit deserve a municipal government that is responsive to their needs, protective of their assets and supportive of “best practices.”

We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss these policy suggestions with you and with the Village Board.

Andy Shaw
President and CEO
Better Government Association
223 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 427-8330

READ THE STORY: Brash Advance

Summit’s politically connected village administrator allegedly gives himself a “loan” with taxpayer money. Confronted by the BGA and FOX 32, he resigns.