It has come to my attention that clarification is needed on the post about the General Fund “special events” account named 8306.
If you contact City of DeKalb and they tell you that 8306 is for events such as helping with the expenses of July 4th festivities at Hopkins Park, that is 100% correct.
However, it is also correct to say that funds coded to expense account 8306 pay for employee events (parties and picnics) and special compensation (gift cards). The February 2016 expenditures report(p. 9), for example, included payouts for an employee potluck and a spree on gift cards for employees that’s becoming infamous.
Since we’ve already noted that paying for events that don’t involve the public is probably contrary to the Illinois Constitution, we’ll put that aside today. Instead, let’s examine another problem, that of charging expenses for public purposes along with expenses that personally benefit employees into a single account code. General Fund accounts where the last four digits are 8300-something, including 8306, are for contractual services. Accounts that are 8100-something are for personnel wage and benefits expenses.
I ask you, how transparent and accountable is that? How can citizens, not to mention our city council, rest assured that we know about all of the wages and benefits paid out if some of them are hidden in the category for contractual services?
And where else might employee compensation be hidden in the budget?
The IRS generally frowns on what it calls “disguised wages,” too. I hope the W-2 forms are in order.