What are they hiding?

By:  Diane Benjamin

I’ve heard for years that Executive Sessions are secret.  Council members have been threatened with censure if they talk about anything said behind closed doors.

The threats are illegal!

Local government has used threats because either they don’t know the law or they want to keep information from the public.

Read what the Illinois Appellate court’s position on the Open Meetings Act:

“There is nothing in the Act that provides a cause of action against a public body for disclosing information from a closed meeting.” (read page 9, paragraph 609 of this Illinois Appellate Case)

The Open Meetings Act was written to guarantee citizens have access to their government.

(Isn’t in sad that laws are needed to make elected officials transparent!)

Below is the City’s code for Executive Sessions: http://www.cityblm.org/index.aspx?page=262

Executive Session2

There is Nothing in the City Code to prevent council members from talking about the Giebelhausen plan and comments made by other Council members behind closed doors.

The public has a right to know what their government is doing.  We know the plan details.  We know Huff’s are getting bailed out, and so is CEFCU.  We know the property will NOT be shovel ready as Tari claims.

Let’s see tonight who has enough courage to say publicly what happened behind closed doors.  Then let’s see who attacks them for being transparent.

The Attorney General ruled clear back in 1991 that nothing prohibits elected officials from saying what was discussed in Executive Session:  AG-Authority-to-Sanction-Board_Members   (see page 3)

“There is no provision in the constitution or the Open Meetings Act which expressly authorizes public bodies to sanction their members for revealing what went on during a closed meeting, and there is clearly no constitutional provision from which one may imply such powers.”

Cub Foods just announced they are closing.  Mitsubishi Motors is deciding whether to close the plant.

Anybody count all the empty store fronts around town?

Tari has been Mayor for 2 years.

Is the local economy better or worse?

Maybe he can he blame previous mayor Stockton.








8 thoughts on “What are they hiding?

  1. I know when I was on a school board is when we first started to record the meetings and executive sessions. Some judge made a ruling that initiated it. Seems some board discussed some items not on the agenda was the reason I believe. I don’t ever recall being told that we couldn’t discuss executive meetings. The board president and the superintendent as I recall would decide what session minutes would be made available for the public.


  2. I was trying to remember how long the former Gov. Thompson gave Mitsubishi tax breaks. I can’t remember if the town of Normal also did some tax incentives too.

    I do believe you beat the loser newspaper to the Cub Foods story.


  3. As an employee of Cub Food, I can certainly testify today that the local economy certainly doesn’t feel like its getting any better to me.

    Thanks Tari. Helluva job you’re doing there.


    1. One thing that Tari and the gang don’t understand and especially him being from academia is the shifting landscape of what employers are allowing and that is working from home. Home can be anywhere and not even close to some base office. I am hearing more employers are allowing this and it probably makes more sense. Why should a company or employer expend money on office space. Every job position isn’t like this and not able to be but the shift to WFH is becoming more apparent.

      Why should someone live where taxes are high and the cost of living is high? Why would you?


  4. Personally, I think the grocery store business is tough to be in when you add the strength of super market giants to the mix. The profit margins are already thin and if you are not offering a one stop shopping option it can be difficult. I have been to Trader Joe’s in downtown Chicago and while I was not impressed with their prices, their store is small like a corner market. Presumably less cost to run the facility plus you have plenty of disposable income walking by on foot traffic alone. I knew Cubs days were numbered before Hyvee came. They were not as busy as other grocers. I went to Cubs because they had excellent customer service and prices were competitive. But you need the volume to compete. I think the grocery store as we remember is dying off. Local taxes may be a factor but it’s hard to gauge on what people would purchase given the extra money. However the taxes are the proverbial kick a man when he is down. Cubs may have been able to hold on longer with lower taxes, but not for long. It stinks.


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