Complaints filed by Buffalo Grove resident Rob Sherman pertaining to Indian Trails Public Library’s referendum were filed on justifiable grounds, the Illinois State Board of Elections determined Tuesday.
However, the board also decided not to pursue further action against the library, leaving the rest of the process in Board of Elections staff members’ hands. Staff will review paperwork pertaining to the complaints to determine whether any further reports are needed. The library would face no more severe penalties than fines for missing paperwork, said Sharon Steward, director of the campaign disclosure division.
The ruling came after alleging that the library misused tax dollars by putting a promotional spin on informational mailings sent to residents in the weeks leading up to the April 5 referendum. His complaint, filed a week before the election, also alleges that the library illegally used public funds for those mailings and that the Friends of the Library violated the Campaign Finance Act for failure to report campaign funds.
Sherman said he was pleasantly surprised by the State Board’s ruling. Its determination followed a closed-session hearing in which the hearing officer recommended dismissal of the complaint, he said.
“I thought the thing was fixed and that it was a done deal,” Sherman said. But the Board members “were really all very independent-minded.”
He said he will proceed with legal action in an attempt to have the voided.
The referendum, which sought to replace revenue from retiring bond debt with an increased tax levy, narrowly passed 2,127 to 1,983. The funds will be earmarked for to the library.
“I consider 144 votes a victory,” library spokesman Earl Sabes said. “I think it’s a victory for the neighborhood, too, because they’ll have a better facility and better library services, and until I hear differently, I’m happy we won.”
Sherman, who told the media after losing his that he planned to relocate to the Cayman Islands, said those plans are temporarily on hold.
The destination still appeals to him because “they don’t do income taxes, they don’t do property taxes and they don’t do winter.” But, he said, “not until I take care of this library issue.”