By: Diane Benjamin
Back on December 20, 2013, the Pantagraph thought a sitting Alderwoman filing a complaint against Tari Renner, David Hales, and the rest of the Council was a big story: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/alderman-stearns-alleges-open-meetings-act-violation/article_5b8974e2-6916-11e3-986a-001a4bcf887a.html
How about reporting on what happened?
Start by hammering Lisa Madigan for taking more than two years to issue a determination! The law requires a ruling by her office within 60 days: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84& See
(5 ILCS 120/3.5)(e)
Here’s a copy of it for you, no need to FOIA it: 27199 o 2a improper 2c1 proper improper mun-1
Note the date: June 3, 2016
Maybe Anonymous could do an Editorial supporting the City.
Maybe Steve Vogel’s column Saturday could attempt to vilify Judy Stearns again.
Try hard, there has to be some way to spin the story.
Oh wait, there is a tape of the meeting! You probably haven’t covered the story because you are waiting for it.
Tari Renner and many members of the Council spent the rest of Judy’s tenure on the Council disparaging everything she said. Her comments were frequently cut short. Her budget suggestions were trashed. Renner even had IWU students speak during public comment against her.
Renner thinks the City of Bloomington is like running a corporation (he has publicly stated that). It isn’t. The AG ruling clearly states the Open Meetings Act is intended “to insure that the actions of public bodies be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly”.
The City Council is obviously NOT the Board of Directors to a corporation!
Don’t forget the role David Hales played. He evidently didn’t know the law or didn’t care either. Hales had a 30 minute illegal diatribe – I can’t wait to hear it!
Maybe the Pantagraph can do a slight bit of investigative reporting and get comments from the Council members at the time. Here’s the list:
Without a strong media, corruption in Illinois is rampant. Obviously it is also local. Pantagraph subscriptions wouldn’t have dropped dramatically if they actually covered news instead of fluff.
How many copies could you sell by exposing the corruption on the Bloomington City Council? Add my FOIA lawsuit against the City too. Citizens might actually want to read the Pantagraph again.
Maybe you could ask the Attorney General why the Council and Hales weren’t charged with a crime for such blatant disregard for the law:
Where is WJBC? Cities 92.9? WGLT?
Too hard for you?