Amelia votes to send husband money!

By:  Diane Benjamin

Alderman Amelia Buragas normally recuses herself from votes when they involve sending money to Farnsworth Group.  Her husband Michael is employed by them.

Last night she didn’t recuse herself from this vote:

amel1These are the people promoting bike paths on major roads and subsidizing buses.

They also promoted the East-Side Bypass and the bike path between Chenoa and Funk’s Grove.  They get orders from the State who gets their orders from the Feds, along with some grants money to make it happen.  Of course, it’s never all the money needed – or all the money to maintain what’s built.  Give the path 10 – 15 years and it will be UN-repairable.

Why should she have recused herself?  Her husband is the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the MCRPC!  The vote would have passed anyway, the Council loves it when other people tell them what to do and plan for them.  Only Alderman Lower voted against it.  See the video below at 31:45.  Amelia recused herself from a plat vote for Tipton Trails subdivision that took place right before this one.  Her husband’s employer was involved with planning, but no money was attached to the vote.

This vote did have money attached, but Amelia didn’t recuse herself.  Is her husband ties to the McLean County Planning Commission supposed to be a secret?

amel2 Just hit play:

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Comments

  1. Can the other council members object on the grounds of COI?

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    • Here is the City Ordinance:
      Chapter 2 : Section 18.1 : Conflict of Interest.
      A Council member prevented from voting by a conflict of interest, such conflict resulting from the Council member having a substantial financial interest in an official matter or a personal interest in an official matter such that he or she cannot render a fair and impartial decision, shall leave the City Council chambers during the debate, shall not vote on the matter, and shall otherwise comply with the rules concerning conflicts of interest. The Chairperson shall make reasonable effort to inform any Council member, who has left the room for such reason and who is nearby, that the agenda has advanced and that the absent member may re-enter the meeting room. (Ordinance No. 2012-7)

      Renner was not mayor at the time this was passed in 2012 but Alderman Fruin was.

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      • Just to add–nowhere does the ordinance say one should follow their conscience. The point of having an ordinance to address COI is because not everyone has the same set of ethics.

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      • Not every investor in Green Top recused themselves either. Why would any council member invest in a group that is getting tax breaks? Looks bad folks.

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      • The Council members who invested in Green Top co-op did recuse themselves at the meeting where the DEVELOPER received the tax break. This vote was about approval of the DEVELOPER’S final plat. Recusal should have been done by all Council-member investors based on both financial investment in a business renting from the DEVELOPER, thus resulting in financial return, and their emotional involvement in the co-op’s concept and location to downtown. Note: Alderman Black recused himself under protest. Maybe both of the other Council members saw no violation of ethics based on their conscience and value system.

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