By: Diane Benjamin
Back in 2014 one of the guys that filed challenges to petitions for candidates in Bloomington knew the Bloomington Election Commission wasn’t following the law as required by the Open Meetings Act. Bruce Meeks filed a Request for Review with Lisa Madigan’s Public Access Office. In February 2014 the Attorney General decided the allegations required further investigation – see the letter: 27844-fi-let
The Meeks case sounds exactly like what has happened in the past 10 days – Failure to post agendas 48 hours in advance of a meeting.
Since Mr. Meeks couldn’t remember what happened after he received this letter, I filed a FOIA request with the Public Access office for the resolution letter.
This is what I received: 45282-closing-letter-2
Since I had the AG’s original letter from 2014, I sent it to them in response to their email claiming they couldn’t find it.
That was December 12.
Yesterday Mr. Meeks got a letter from Public Access on this 2014 case: AG 12/12/2016 letter
Note: The AG letter is dated the same day I sent them the 2014 letter.
Note also that the AG letter says virtually nothing except get the agendas posted 48 hours in advance!
“ENSURING OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT”
Obviously Public Access will never accomplish their self assigned task. Nobody is going to hold government accountable except the citizens! All levels of government seem to only respond when citizens force them to comply – like the Edgar County Watchdogs did in stopping an illegal meeting. BEC called the police.
Government HATES opposition from citizens, but if you don’t oppose illegal behavior, nobody else is going to. That requires you to know the law. Citizens can take both OMA and FOIA training here: Open Meetings Act and FOIA training
Bruce Meeks sent me this statement:
Seems that the standard operating procedures need to be reviewed independent of the ATG office to find out why it takes years for a finding of a very clear violation of the OMA laws for the State of Illinois.
I filed this in 2014 as a proactive approach that I been doing with regional public bodies in a naive hope that all public bodies will not go for years like the City of Bloomington related to following the law related to public comment and posting of agendas.
One more note:
Bruce Meeks has numerous Requests for Review pending with this office pertaining to Tari Renner appointing himself the sole Liquor Commissioner without any input from the Council. Those go back to late summer. Citizens deserve to know if Renner violated the law before the election.
Should we take bets on how many years it will take Public access to rule?