UPDATE:  Normal’s illegal code

The Open Meetings Act applicable section was amended effective 1/1/2013.  That’s more than 7 years ago! _____________________ By:  Diane Benjamin The Town of Normal under the current leadership prefers to make up their own laws.  The most obvious example is their illegal public comment policy. Here’s another one: http://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/7697/Chapter-03—Council-Meetings-and-Ordinances?bidId= What does the Open Meetings Act […]

Susan Kalter: Explain your meeting to the Attorney General

By:  Diane Benjamin See previous stories: https://blnnews.com/2020/07/16/looks-like-a-revolt-at-isu/ https://blnnews.com/2020/07/20/isu-when-you-hear-from-the-attorney-general-just-plead-guilty/ Today I was notified by the Public Access office of the Attorney General they are going to investigate whether the first faculty meeting violated the Open Meetings Act. Excerpts: See the entire document I received:  63926 FI Letter When Kalter or ISU responds the Attorney General’s office […]

ISU: When you hear from the Attorney General just plead guilty

By:  Diane Benjamin I have filed a Request for Review with the Attorney General’s office based on this meeting held by Dr. Susan Kalter, the Chair of the Academic Senate at ISU:  https://blnnews.com/2020/07/16/looks-like-a-revolt-at-isu/ Part 2 was supposed to happen tonight to finish what didn’t get done last Thursday.  Tonight’s meeting has been postponed indefinitely, the […]

Connect Transit: Empty Buses and Brains

By:  Diane Benjamin After NOT posting the Agenda for today’s meeting 48 hours in advance as required by the Open Meetings Act (LAW!), yesterday Connect moved the meeting and thought people would magically know:    https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/cttf_working_group/agendas.asp No surprise, they didn’t have enough people for a quorum, some members of the public went to the wrong […]

Update: If Connect Transit meets tomorrow – they will be breaking the law

Meeting is rescheduled to June 4th. By:  Diane Benjamin From the Connect Transit website – they have a monthly meeting scheduled for tomorrow: https://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp The agenda MUST be posted 48 hours in advance to comply with the Open Meetings Act.  It isn’t posted, therefore they must cancel the meeting: Did they fail to post it […]

Normal is guilty and not guilty

By:  Diane Benjamin I filed a Request for Review with Lisa Madigans’s Public Access office on January 18, 2018.  The request was for a ruling on the budget workshop held by the Town of Normal that was not posted as a meeting with an agenda, time, and place.  I received a ruling yesterday. 5 ILCS […]

County holds an illegal meeting!

By:  Diane Benjamin This morning the McLean County Board held a meeting without announcing it.  Is the Open Meetings Act too difficult to understand? Notice of ALL meetings most be posted 48 hours in advance along with the agenda.  This morning they held a legislative breakfast for the entire Board AND State Senators Bill Brady, Jason […]

Normal: Investigated and sued

By:  Diane Benjamin The Attorney General’s Public Access office is investigating the Town of Normal for a meeting they held on January 18th.  No agenda was posted for this meeting.  That is a violation of the Open Meetings Act because the public was not notified this meeting was going to take place. The only information […]

Quit giving your address!

By:  Diane Benjamin Some public bodies still ask you to state your address before speaking during Public Comment.  You are not required to according to the law. See this 2014 opinion from the Illinois Attorney General’s office:    http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/opinions/2014/14-009.pdf This paragraph sums up the decision: The Town of Normal and the Unit 5 School Board need […]

Unit 5 – story corrections

By:  Diane Benjamin The spontaneous Executive Session was not held on November 13th, it was held on November 8th at the end of a regular meeting.  It was held in response to some disgruntled parents. The Board briefly recessed, hopefully not to discuss whether to hold an Executive Session.  Holding any discussions outside of a […]

UPDATE: Unit 5 Board: Illegal meeting

See corrections in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2018/01/11/unit-5-story-corrections/ By:  Diane Benjamin I wish my kids had been coached by Darren Hess.  The parents who spoke at last night’s School Board meeting proved Hess was a great mentor and role model for the players and their families.  Great coaches don’t happen often, supporters are crushed to lose this one.  […]

Unit 5: You work for those paying the bills!

By:  Diane Benjamin The next School Board meeting is January 10th, 7:00 pm at Chiddix Junior High, 300 S Walnut St, in Normal.   Website See the Unit 5 Public Comment policy HERE Public Comment at every meeting of a Public Body is LAW.  It’s called the Open Meetings Act.  If you read Unit 5’s Public Comment policy […]

“Welcoming Ordinance” Glitch

By:  Diane Benjamin Not In Our Town didn’t care when the mayor of Bloomington abused numerous citizens with vile comments.  They didn’t care when he attacked an elected alderman.  He used his position to intimidate people with different opinions.  How is that any different than Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Harvey Weinstein?  Because sex isn’t […]

It’s confirmed: Laws Don’t Matter!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws most likely broken by the Town of Normal Council don’t matter because prosecutions need a prosecutor.  The citizens of Normal don’t have one! In case you forgot the facts, see this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/11/16/normal-your-government-is-fixed/ Basics: The Town held a Secret meeting (Executive Session) on August 11th at 9:30 in the morning. The meeting […]

Normal: Your government is FIXED

By:  Diane Benjamin The citizens of Normal probably already knew “outsiders” aren’t allowed to participate in their government, how many Trustees have quit during their term so the Mayor could appoint a replacement?  The last Mayor did the same thing so incumbents have an edge in the next election.  I expect Chris Koos to do […]

Another Victory!

By:  Diane Benjamin Laws don’t seem to matter to our Public Servants unless they are forced to follow them.  Maybe that’s human nature, kind of like everybody is speeding so I might as well too. But this offense meant there was no written record of what happened at meetings.  The offender was the McLean County […]

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 […]

Chambers needs to explain

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve contacted the States Attorney’s office several times about public corruption cases.  I recently received this email from one of their interns: Got that?  Seems pretty clear – the States Attorney’s office doesn’t do investigations! Now see this Pantagraph story about the tragic deaths yesterday:  http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/police-chief-fatal-fire-appears-intentionally-set/article_77246b93-85ee-5e69-a96b-6de3fbc09d18.html Excerpt from the story: Maybe Jason […]

Normal: Blatant illegal meeting(s)

By:  Diane Benjamin It’s getting harder and harder to see that ANY laws matter, at least for government.  Officials can twist facts, feign illness, and violate the law knowing nobody is going to prosecute.   The Town of Normal Council is doing their part Tuesday night: I don’t know if this “planning session” has taken […]

Bloomington is Chicago

Did Tari Know a large crowd was coming?  It matters. By:  Diane Benjamin The Bloomington Police Department was told loud and clear last night they were a huge problem.  I wonder how many officers today are questioning why they are willing to die on the job to protect and serve people who despise them.  I […]

County OMA non-compliance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Open Meetings Act is pretty simple.  It was written to keep government from hiding their actions from the people paying the bills.  This is the 1st paragraph: Part of the OMA pertains to meeting documentation:   Evidently the County skipped this section, at least with the Zoning Board of Appeals. From […]

Library investigated for OMA

By:  Diane Benjamin Remember the two illegal meetings held by the library board because they weren’t posted 48 hours in advance?  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/20/followup-illegal-meetings/ Keep in mind I notified both the Sheriff and the State’s Attorney’s office prior to the meetings, they did nothing to stop the crime of violating the Open Meetings Act.  Law for government […]

Normal: Forget something last night?

By:  Diane Benjamin See the agenda for the Town Council HERE One required item at every meeting of every public body is missing:  Public Comment. The Town Public Comment policy is still illegal because it requires signing up 2 hours in advance and speaking only to items on the agenda.  Since the agenda must be posted 48 […]

Followup: Illegal meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin Yesterday I did not receive a response from the State’s Attorney or the Sheriff.  The illegal joint meeting between the Council and the Library Board took place. Bloomington attorney Jeff Jurgens admitted in an email the two meetings now posted on the Library Board website were not posted 48 hours in advance. […]

UPDATE: Playing nice – for now

I’ve said over and over laws are broken here because nobody will prosecute.   Tonight’s illegal meeting will take place and so will the illegal meeting the library has scheduled for tomorrow.  The Sheriff doesn’t care – he hasn’t responded to my email.  The States Attorney’s office doesn’t care either – Knapp hasn’t responded to […]

UPDATE: Illegal Meeting Tonight

Evidently someone at the library is pretending this was posted: I have a picture of the library website on my phone from this morning with a date and time stamp showing the first two meetings were not posted.  Today’s meeting is illegal and so is tomorrow’s.  48 hours people!  Do I need to bring the […]

Why is BN Advantage a secret group?

By:  Diane Benjamin BN Advantage was formed in 2015.  Their mission is to get all the players together for collaboration on economic development strategy. The Bloomington Council approved the formation in October 2015, see this doc:  BN Advantage  I’m sure other area governments passed the same type resolution. Temporarily forget the fact that government doesn’t […]

Hudson: Non-compliance

By:  Diane Benjamin The Village of Hudson failed to post the agenda for tonight’s meeting on their website 48 hours in advance.  It was finally posted to the website sometime yesterday. Problem: The Agenda that was posted on the door of the Water Departments is different than the one now posted on the Village website!. […]

More conspiring against citizens

By:  Diane Benjamin Follow-up to this story:  https://blnnews.com/2017/06/02/b-n-is-getting-the-delphi-treatment/ (It won’t be the only one!) The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is trying to get out of complying with the Open Meetings Act.  What does the Open Meetings Act say? OMA applies to all “public bodies”:  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 I’d love to know what grounds they […]

No Connect Transit meeting tomorrow

By:  Diane Benjamin If Connect does hold their scheduled meeting tomorrow, it won’t be legal.  The agenda must be posted 48 hours in advance according to the Open Meetings Act.  Nothing has been posted. Click here and verify the packet for 5/23 meeting is not listed:  http://www.connect-transit.com/about/trustees/packet.asp Leave a comment below, I may need witnesses. […]

Laws don’t apply to government

By:  Diane Benjamin Illinois Open Meetings Act Law: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2 Monday night the Bloomington City Council is approving minutes dated between 1998 and 2009.  http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=12450 Not approving minutes as required by law isn’t just something the City did a long time ago.  Here is another example from April 11, 2016: September 21, 2015 just happens to […]

Avoid Normal candidate Chemberly Cummings

By:  Diane Benjamin I would have loved to post comments from the forums held for the Council of both Bloomington and Normal, but there wasn’t any insight gained.  Spending an hour listening the questions and answers doesn’t give the candidates much time to reveal themselves.  Some are purposely hiding their agenda to get elected. The […]