By: Diane Benjamin
Problems surfaced months ago with the Liquor Commission when Tari wanted to raise Liquor Fees and Video Gaming licenses. Tari conspired with one of the two other members of the Liquor Commission to make that happen. Citizens deserve open, honest, and transparent discussions, Tari thought otherwise.
A citizens filed NUMEROUS Request for Reviews with the Attorney General’s office for Open Meetings Act violations. The AG will not rule within the 60 days required by law, evidently laws are immaterial. Because of these violations, Tari decided to change to the Liquor Commission. If he wasn’t guilty, why make any changes?
Last August Tari tried to declare himself the sole member of the Liquor Commission. His plans conflicted with the City Code, so he tried to get the Code changed. The item was pulled from the agenda without an explanation.
Below are a few changes he wanted made to the City Ordinance:
Many other changes were included, see the Code changes here – starting on page 242:
These changes did not happen since it was pulled from the agenda.
Again, if Tari declaring himself sole commission member was legal, why are changes needed? Former Mayor Richard Buchanan served for 34 years on the Commission. Most Commissions in recent decades had at least 5 members, Tari is the one who decided 3 was enough. Under the Open Meetings Act that meant TWO members could not meet to discuss business outside of meetings because TWO constituted a quorum.
Because government is supposed to work for the people, this is the opening paragraph to the Illinois Open Meetings Act: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&
Last night he proved he is not entitled to be called a public servant.
During Public Comment current Liquor Commission member Sue Feldkamp stated she is NOT resigning like former member Jim Jordan did. Jordan was rewarded with an appointment to the Police and Fire Commission. Tari wanted to appoint Feldkamp to the Planning Commission leaving only himself as a Commission member. Feldkamp stated “If I step away from this position, license holders and the community will lose the opportunity to have a citizens listen and work with them”. Tari plans to just dismiss her even though she was just recently appointed and doesn’t have a designated term of service. He also has no “cause” for dismissal other than “I say so”. See her comments at 10:56.
The issue rose again later in the meeting when Alderman Lower questioned Tari’s appointment of Jordan. Alderman Sage questioned Tari further.
Tari admitted his legal counsel had given him two choices. One was to expand the Liquor Commission to 5 members so Open Meetings Act provisions wouldn’t apply to meeting with one member. Instead, Tari choose to declare himself the only member because:
He “didn’t want to give credence to the people who were challenging the idea that I couldn’t even talk to somebody“.
Tari had a choice between promoting transparency and stifling it. He chose to be vindictive instead of transparent. He thinks OMA laws, City Code, and decades of Liquor Commission history are immaterial.
Tari claimed this action is to show Lisa Madigan’s office he complied with the law. Evidently he is admitting he wasn’t complying with the law previously.
Is the council going to let him get by with this?
See the video below, just hit play. Go back further for more comments, including questions by Alderman Hauman. It’s amusing that earlier she questioned Tari’s judgement and his frequent deferral to Jim Jordan during Liquor Commission meetings, but later calls a Point of Order to end the discussion. She looks like a plant to keep Tari from saying anything even more stupid than admitting citizens and laws don’t matter. See 42:55 for her final comment.