Open Meetings Act Violation #3

By:  Diane Benjamin

The City of Bloomington has been found guilty of more violations, but this makes 3 that I either filed or was closely involved in the filing.

This time it’s the library:

Of course there isn’t a penalty assessed even though law specifies penalties are available.  Laws only matter if us peons are involved, not government.

Here’s the applicable paragraphs from the ruling:

It may be reasonably inferred from construing the statute as a whole that the 48-hour time requirement for posting agendas at the principal office and the location of the meeting is also intended to apply to posting agendas on the website of a public body maintained by a full time staff member. Adopting the Library’ s argument that a public body complies with section 2. 02( a) by merely posting an agenda on the website at any time could deprive the public of any meaningful advance notice and render section 2. 02( a) superfluous. For example, if section 2. 02( a) permitted a public body to post an agenda on its website just minutes or seconds before a meeting commences, the website posting requirement would provide no practical advance notice at all. If the 48- hour notice requirement for posting agendas at the public body’ s principal office and the location of the meeting is applicable to agendas posted on websites maintained by fulltime  staff of a public body, on the other hand, then the General Assembly’ s intent that the public be provided with meaningful advance notice of all meetings of public bodies electronically will be satisfied. Accordingly, we adopt that interpretation.

The Library acknowledges that it did not post the agendas of its June 19, 2017, and June 20, 2017, meetings on its website at least 48 hours in advance of the meetings in
question. Therefore, this office concludes that the Library violated section 2. 02( a) of OMA. The available information indicates, however, that this violation resulted from an inadvertent scheduling error and that the Library is taking measures to prevent similar errors in the future.2 Further, the available information indicates that both agendas were posted and available for public inspection more than 48 hours before the meetings at the locations of the meetings and at the Library’ s principal office. Accordingly, we conclude that no additional remedial action is required in this instance.

Actually, they were found guilty of TWO OMA violations.

See the entire ruling here:   Library OMA

Next time you are stopping for speeding . .

promise you won’t do it anymore and see what that gets you.

Springfield needs to change the FOIA and OMA laws to include criminal penalties for not complying with the law.  Otherwise, public bodies have no reason follow it.

 

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Comments

  1. Warren J.Le Fever says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Diane.

    Like

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