By: Diane Benjamin
Last night the Normal Town Council defied the Attorney General’s letter and made only minor changes to their Public Comment Policy. They relied on the opinion of their City Attorney Brian Day who formerly worked for the Illinois Municipal League.
First, you need to understand what the IML is. See this story: https://blnnews.com/2016/03/29/the-iml-scam/
IML is the group that handed out huge state pensions to their employees even though they never worked for the State. IML lobbies Springfield for higher taxes and more spending because they were created to support local governments, not the people paying the bills. IML hasn’t filed tax returns for decades and has ZERO transparency.
That said, the excuses Brian Day used to not comply with the AG’s findings, and using the IML to justify them, make his comments despicable at best. The IML does not represent the citizens of Illinois or the taxpayers in Normal.
Day and Koos tried to pretend the whole flap about citizens being allowed to speak at meetings is merely a campaign issue. The are wrong, the fight intensified over Portillos, Rivian, and the new building at One Normal Circle. Citizens were not allowed address their government, a right uniquely American and denied in Normal.
This is an article I wrote in July of 2016 saying why the policy is illegal – that’s way before anybody thought about running for office!
Illinois State University recently changed their Public Comment policy which proves they know who pays the bills. The policy only states 1) Sign up when you come, 2) Speak for 5 minutes.
Chris Koos and the entire Council proved last night they aren’t Public Servants, just power hungry rulers.
A former council member, Garret Scott, spoke urging the Council to restrict speech because they have more important work to do than listening to citizens. I’m sure Scott fit in well during his time on the Council! Advocating for the right NOT to speak says all you need to know about Scott.
Normal is still requiring Citizens to sign up 2 hours in advance. That rule will be broken over and over until Normal denies somebody the right to talk. Citizens will also break the rule requiring speech on agenda items over and over until they are stopped by Koos. Either will trigger another filing with the Attorney General’s Public Access office.
The citizens of Normal are NOT going to bow before their elected officials and beg to petition them.
From Lisa Madigan: https://www3.rps205.com/District/Pages/openmeet.pdf
April 4th everyone possible on the Town of Normal Council needs to be replaced starting with Chris Koos!
Mayor: Marc Tiritlli
Council: Ron Ulmer
Council: Write in James Woods – just like the actor
The meeting lasted less than an hour, the ordinance discussion banning free speech took up over half of the meeting. That discussion starts at 26:11.