by: Diane Benjamin
From an article in today’s Pantagraph – Professor Mayor Tari Renner:
You do attend the Council meeting Tari, right? Have you noticed that any Council member who questions what is presented is vilified, or at least cut off? Did you notice the empty pots vote for whatever they are told to vote for? They work for you and David Hales, not their wards, therefore they can’t be trusted with any decisions..
Now you want the Council to vote on whether to release documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act? Is the agenda going to tell them which way to vote – like the agenda says for every other item? You don’t really believe they have the legal expertise to decide, do you? Releasing or not releasing information under FOIA is a LEGAL question Tari. You don’t understand the FOIA law, Executive Session law, or Open Meetings Act law, but you expect the Council to make legal decisions?
Why does the City have a lawyer? Why does the City hire lawyers in Rosemont? Maybe they aren’t needed either – why not let the Council decide everything!
You could have the staff re-read the law, it’s not very long. You could hold intensive FOIA training with staff. You could instruct them to release everything unless they have a darn good reason within the law.
One more note Tari, FOIA requests have to answered in 5 days. Are you going to call special Council meetings to consider requests? Are you going to ask the requester for an extension until the next Council meeting? Check the law, I don’t think that is a valid reason for an extension.
Professor, if you haven’t noticed the potted plants have no original opinions, all the videos of previous council meetings are on the City website. Maybe you should watch a few.