By: Diane Benjamin
Yesterday the Pantagraph wrote this story: Normal Seeks AG’s Opinion On Public Comment
I wonder where they got the idea for the story!
Did Chris Koos call them and say “I’ve got a story for you”? Mark Peterson?
The only reason Normal is considering changing their Public Comment policy is because at least 2 citizens filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Public Access office! The article fails to mention that fact, the Pantagraph makes it sound like changes are the Town’s idea!
Both citizens received letters from Lisa Madigan’s office stating their complaints deserved further investigation.
Public Access would have sent the same letters to the Town of Normal and required Koos and company to respond to the allegations of having an illegal Public Comment policy.
At least one of those filers has not received a copy of the Koos response which was required within 7 days. Yes, it’s past due.
Is Normal using the media to pretend changing Public Comment is their idea? Either the Pantagraph didn’t know or intentionally left the citizens complaints out of their story! Which one is it Pantagraph? Were you used by Koos and Council? Did you agree to be used or were you just clueless?
Citizens of Normal need to see how members of the Council responded to questions by the Pantagraph. The general consensus is citizens can email them anytime. They have work to do and pesky citizens get in the way.
Limiting public comment means the general public never knows other citizens have the same concerns. Voicing opinions in public – face to face – means opinions can’t be hidden. That’s scary since representing citizens means listening to them. (Oh the horror!)
The Pantagraph needs to update their story to include the real facts. Maybe they can FOIA Public Access for details. Here’s one the cases: 2016 PAC 45349
If the truth isn’t told, should we assume the Pantagraph likes being used for propaganda?
(Cities 92.9 is now running the same story!)