BEC has an attitude problem!

By:  Diane Benjamin

A reader sent an email to Paul Shannon at the Bloomington Election Commission detailing Bloomington’s Public Comment policy.  He asked Paul why the Election Commission doesn’t have the same policy.

This was Shannon’s reply:

We are not funded through the city of Bloomington, but operate from funding with an intergovernmental agreement between the city, the county, and our office. While our name implies we are part of the City we are not. ILCS 5/6-21 which covers the establishment of an Election Commission ” a board of elections is not a unit of local government.” That way the neither the city nor the county can influence how we conduct our elections in the City of Bloomington. We are obligated to establish our rules. While it has always been the policy to allow unrestricted public comment at our meetings the current situation is dictating that the policy will change and become restrictive.

He then went on to cite the law.

What “current situation” Mr. Shannon?  You can’t be talking about what happened on Monday because that wasn’t public comment.  The meeting was illegal, so public comment could not have happened!

I hope Mr Shannon realizes that “restrictive” public comment policies can be illegal.

Oh, forgot.  I’m wondering if the guy who failed to comply with the Open Meetings Act twice this week knows the law.  Actually it was three times because the Commission met in a different room on Monday to determine what to do next.

Strike Three!

So far I haven’t filed the OMA violations with the Attorney General.  If I see a bad public comment policy, I will and add that to the list.  Maybe Lisa Madigan will be forced to rule based on the abuse from just this week.




10 thoughts on “BEC has an attitude problem!

  1. Even their “new” proposed rules don’t include rules for public comment. Anyone who speaks “out of turn” will be removed from the proceedings which reflects court proceedings. The State’s Congress prohibits public comment. All people need is clarification. Jees!!

    1. The only reason people spoke “out of turn” Monday is that it wasn’t a legal meeting. Therefore, they didn’t speak “out of turn”. We could have let the whole meeting go on and then tell them they just wasted their time. Maybe that’s what they would have preferred.

  2. The sooner you file against the BEC for OMA violations the better. They need punished by at least their behavior being ruled against.

  3. In a day and age when spending and debt is out of control, why is there a separate election board for the City of Bloomington in the first place? Wouldn’t be much more efficient to combine with the County Clerk’s Office? At least they seem to be a little more citizen friendly.

    1. I found out scoreboards file directly with the county. Everybody else files with their Township town etc. The county doesn’t get a list of candidates until the end of January. That make selections more difficult for citizens because of less time to research all the candidates

      1. Diane, Per my response to your email today requesting information; candidates other than school boards and multi-township assessors file with their local election authority, for example; Town of Normal candidates, file with the Town Clerk, City of Lexington candidates file with the Town Clerk, Etc. Those authortities then certify their candidates to our office. They can begin doing that now, but the deadline for final submission is Jan. 26. We haven’t received any certified submissions as of today but will post them immediately upon their submission to our office. Filing for School Boards begins Monday Dec. 12, 8:00 am. All this information is available on our Faceook page and our website; just “Google” McLean County Clerk, click on the Elections link. People can start contacting their Town Clerks right now, and find out who has filed with them, so they can start researching candidates. Nowhere in the county, will we have a February Primary. Only City of Blm may have a Primary; thus, all other county races will be April 4; plenty of time for research. Keep check our webiste and Facebook for constant updates on information. Contact me at [email protected] for any questions you may have.

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