Government Transparency Takes a Hit
The Better Government Association recently published its findings on whether government agencies are doing on the issue of transparency. The BGA looked at compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act violations. The findings were not kind the Public Access Counselor’s staff in Lisa Madigan’s office or to the multiple local governments that are funded by your tax dollars. The Illinois Attorney General’s office, which is now under the control of Kwame Raoul, issued a statement that said in part, “Despite years of work to change the secrecy in Illinois government, the BGA’s findings show that many government offices still routinely disregard their obligation to provide access to government records.” The Public Access Staff includes 13 full time attorneys, 3 supervisors and 4 support staff. Despite the numbers, the BGA found that many governmental units ignore record requests and improperly deny records more than half the time. In addition, the BGA alleges that in 42 percent of the cases, there was an open meetings act violation.
District 123 Collects Change to Inspire Change
For the third year in a row, OLHMS student Brenden Sheedy has organized a donation drive hoping to raise money for those less fortunate locally.
“Right from the start, we knew we wanted to help people throughout our own community. During the holiday season, we are reminded of what the true meaning of giving and helping one another is all about. Knowing our staff and students were able to contribute, and immediately help people in need, is beyond heart-warming,” said Kate Ryan, A Global Studies teacher who helped Brenden’s vision become reality.
This year, Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School students were able to raise a collective $1,137 for Almost Home, an organization that helps the homeless, needy, food insecure. The organization has already used some of the funds to help a local father whose wife tragically passed recently.
The annual fundraiser also is a fun way for the 6th, 7th and 8th-grade classes to compete against each other for the cause. This year, the 8th graders were victorious, winning a pajama day at school.
Even though Sheedy’s time at the middle school will end this year he has built quite the legacy. Kate Ryan plans to continue the annual fundraiser to inspire students to keep helping their community.
“It’s a team effort, the Student Ambassadors push the carts with the buckets, and they help organize the change. Local bank MB Financial allows us to use the coin machine to count the change. The staff and students donate their change. It’s fun and for such a great cause,” said Ryan.
Sheedy plans to attend St. Rita next year for his first year of high school.
Oak Lawn Park District Spring Registration
The Oak Lawn Park District’s 2019 Spring Program Guide is expected for delivery to households next week. The seasonal guide contains all upcoming Park District spring programs, events and services. It also includes a sneak peak of Summer Camps. Guides will be available online at www.olparks.com and at Park District facilities the first week of February. Resident Registration begins Monday, February 4th. Non-Resident Registration begins Monday, February 18th. Online registration will be available.
For more information, please call 708-857-2225.