BY;; Diane Benjamin
The Town of Normal continues to have an illegal public comment policy. Normal was forced to change the policy in 2017 when the Attorney General told them they can not have a policy that allows a citizen to only speak every 45 days. Instead of slapping the Town’s entire policy into oblivion, the AG only ruled on this one issue because people were denied the right to speak.
The policy should be: 1) Citizens shows up 2) Citizens sign up to speak 3) Citizens speaks on any topic they wish for the allotted time
Many government agencies don’t believe in the 1st amendment rights of citizens: To petition government for a redress of grievances
Normal doesn’t want to hear from you – another reason Lorenz and McBride need to be defeated April 2nd.
Chris Koos likes to pretend he is holding a “business meeting” instead of a meeting to conduct the “people’s business”.
The Attorney General’s Public Access office could have saved themselves a lot of time by telling Normal what a public comment policy should say to comply with the law. Since they refused to do that in 2017, another complaint against the Town was recently filed.
This time Council candidate Karyn Smith was denied her right to speak about the 3 historic buildings in Uptown on February 4th. Karyn filed a Request for Review and it has been accepted by Public Access.
Side note: I FOIA’d the Town of Normal for correspondence with Public Access. This is an amazingly fast response from Public Access, hopefully the ruling will be fast too. I also received a ruling on a Request For Review originally filed in 2016, the AG’s office just got around to ruling on it. Normal lost that case too – it was for police documents.
This is the request from Karyn to speak:
The Attorney General will force them to change the policy as it apples to Karyn being denied, but they will likely not require Normal to allow comment by anyone who shows up until somebody is refused that right and files another complaint.
Normal could prove they are government “For and By the People” but they won’t. Complaints need to be filed until Normal concedes defeat. That likely won’t happen until the Council is changed.
See what Karyn filed here: Request for Review – Karyn Smith
See AG response here: Attorney General Response
Evidently the Town of Normal has not replied to the letter from the AG since I did not receive it.