By: Diane Benjamin
WGLT reported yesterday Bloomington was found guilty of violating the Open Meetings Act in 2017 for discussing ending the Metro Zone agreement with Normal in secret. The Attorney General had previously ruled it illegal, according to the article the current ruling reversed a lower court ruling. https://www.wglt.org/post/appeals-court-bloomington-violated-open-meetings-act
Besides the fact Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied, this case was obvious from the start. Using “pending litigation” as an excuse for discussion in Executive Session when there is no “pending litigation” is a violation.
Story from 2/22/2017: https://blnnews.com/2017/02/22/why-have-metro-zone-talks-been-in-secret/
This story reminded me of another Renner taxpayer fleece. He talked the Council into buying 807 North Main for $1.4 million so he could control development. Nobody wants to buy that property, Bloomington even had it listed it with a real estate company for a year. Your $1.4 million is now a parking lot for City vehicles.
The Bloomington council voted to end Metro Zone on 2-27-17. It started a war that will continue since the voters in Normal want it. They re-elected all of the ones waging it with taxpayer money.
The Vote – this won’t help end the war either:
Mboka Mwilambwe is the only Council person left now, tomorrow he becomes mayor. Attorney Jeff Jurgens was working for the City when the secret discussion took place. This was when he was still with Sorling Northrop before he was officially hired in 2020. Since the City refuses to release Executive Session Minutes, we don’t know if he was present when the illegal discussion took place.
Finding Bloomington acted illegally will just give Normal more reasons to keep the war raging. Taxpayers will be paying for.
The audio of this illegal meeting should be released. The discussion is vital for citizens to hear. Unfortunately the last time Bloomington did the same thing the audio was never released. That was when Judy Stearns walked out of the Executive Session and filed with the Attorney General herself. The City was also found guilty then.