ASHTON – The village of Ashton released a proposed new investment policy for its cemetery funds Friday, a couple of days after its clerk had declined to release it.
Clerk Sharon Van Dam said Wednesday she didn’t want to release the new proposal because the village’s attorney had issues with it, but she agreed to send the existing policy to Sauk Valley Media. After that, SVM submitted a public records request for the proposed policy.
Before the village answered the request, the newspaper obtained the new proposal from another source.
In a letter to Sauk Valley Media, Van Dam said state law gives her a “reasonable amount of time” to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request. She met the deadline under state law.
“I wanted it noted that I did not decline to send it, even though I questioned why you would want a document that may or may not see the light of day again,” Van Dam wrote.
In April, the village’s board of trustees approved an investment policy for cemetery funds to put restrictions on internal loans to the village. The proposed policy changes, however, include no such rules.
Former Trustee Andrew Kida, who drafted the original policy, fears the new policy won’t protect the cemetery money from being drained for other uses by the village.
The new policy was enacted after the cemetery received more than $200,000 in a bequest. The interest from that money is supposed to pay for the cemetery’s upkeep.
The village board will meet Monday.