Update: Mayor Says Financial Documents Released from Library are Incorrect

Mayor David Gonzalez recently criticized the library for consistently requesting more tax money than it was using, but the institutions yearly report tells a different story.

Article updated at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 to include documents provided by the mayor of Chicago Heights.

Conflicting documents about the Chicago Heights Public Library's tax revenue give some insight into how the institution is spending, or not spending, tax dollars.

The library's spending, or lack thereof, was a hot topic at the Monday city council meeting, after the 2012 tax levy had the institution losing more than $170,000 in funding. When asked about the decrease, Mayor David Gonzalez said the library had been levying for more than $1 million every year and spending significantly less.

Read: Is the Heights Library Stockpiling Too Much Tax Money?

While Gonzalez criticized the library for over-levying and underspending, public documents provided by the library reflect the institution spending most of its allotted tax dollars from the 2010 levy.

The reports the library provided for fiscal year 2011 to 2012 show the institution received about $959,000 in taxpayer dollars from the 2010 levy. It spent a little more than $957,000 of those funds, the report says.

In the current fiscal year, the library has spent nearly $611,000, with more than four months left. Part of the money the library has in the bank includes what is left to spend this fiscal year. 

If the numbers the library provided hold true, $1 million in taxpayer money every year may be just the right amount for the library to request, but the numbers provided by the mayor tell a different story.

Gonzalez says the documents provided to Patch, listing the library's tax revenue and expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year, were internal documents that had not been audited. 

Gonzalez provided independently audited documents that support his comments about the library netting a yearly surplus. The documents show more than $200,000 added to library's 2011 revenue that isn't shown in the documents provided by the library.

"As you will see, the library also gets corporate replacement tax revenue. This is taxes paid by corporations," Gonzalez said in an email. "In 2011, the library had a surplus of $200,519, and in 2012, they had a surplus of $96,949." 

Both sets of documents are public record, according to Gonzalez. 

View the PDF files above to see tax-income and expenditure documents provided by the library and by Mayor Gonzalez.

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David December 20, 2012 at 12:10 AM
I am a professional librarian in a neighboring community and a Chicago Heights resident. I have good friends that work for the CHPL and they all feel like their livelihoods are in jeopardy due to the mayor's insistence on using the library as a political punching bag. It really disgusts me. I know more about the situation than has been reported or discussed on the patch, and I can tell you, it ain't pretty.
LeeRoy Brown December 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Well I didnt know that part about the Library board taking over the hiring there..... so they have stripped him of his duties so to speak.... tied his hands. Well that does sound like Mayor David Gonzalez... he does that here at CITY HALL too...... so i know how the Library staff must feel, that is after all how we feel here as well..... but we have to see him everyday and his wolfpack ...... talk about Library Board - you should see Lori Wilcox WHEN she is here.......... she is too good for her own two left shoes. Always texting on her phone....... makes you feel as though she is one of the SUPREME beings on this earth barking orders and if she only knew how much we all dispise her here at City Hall. I am not surprised she was hand picked by Gonzalez to sit on that Library Board. I feel for them at CHPL..............
JayZ December 20, 2012 at 03:05 PM
LeeRoy Brown aka Mike Davis My wife works at City Hall. She says "Lori is a breath of fresh air". NO ONE at City Hall dispises her. Thats an outright lie. Furthermore, if you want to talk of SUPERIOR ATTITUDES, look in the mirror. NO ONE can tell you anything about the library without you getting defensive...as if our library has been taken care of so well. NOT! Buddy-you SUCK as running the show there...time for a replacement!!!!!!
LeeRoy Brown December 23, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Well JayZ cant blame you for defending her what a night and shining armor you are. If she was my wife I would be inclined to do that as well. Fortunately she is not my wife.......... no one at City Hall says she a "Breath of fresh air" .... that sounds like something her HUSBAND would say! Kudos to you for trying to stick up for her......... but end the end it doesnt change how we feel about her.
JayZ December 26, 2012 at 02:45 AM
"We" feel about her? Im pulling your card now... There are six ladies who work in her office. All with excellent attitudes and in no way sounds like LeeRoyBBrown. Your a liar trying to get the topic of how crappy our library has been run with Mike D as head guy so you shoot at the board's new president. Hilarious and sad all at the same time. And Skippy John Jones don't deny there is a cat. Everyone knows. Lets be real: the library stinks and it's not just from acat. Clean it up so our kids can visit!


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