Lawlessness Complaint

Yesterday I mailed a complaint about City Council’s failures to adhere to the Open Meetings Act. It is on its way to the Illinois Attorney General, cc’d to the DeKalb County State’s Attorney.

I selected three violations occurring in May and June to include in the complaint, beginning with the decision to address the financial consultants’ (EPI) report after FY2010 budget approval. The matter has never appeared on a meeting agenda nor has a vote been taken in any open meeting; it instead has been presented as a fait accompli in response to residents’ complaints made during citizens’ comment portions of Council meetings.

Additionally, at least two violations have occurred in regards to negotiations with the firefighters’ union. On June 22, City Council voted on a resolution authorizing its city manager to lay off firefighters as a measure to balance its FY2010 budget. Then, after a 45-minute closed session during a special meeting June 29, Council announced it was continuing negotiations with the firefighters instead.

  • The agenda for the June 29 Special Meeting did not contain the firefighter negotiations as an item for discussion. (The special meeting was supposed to be about negotiations with AFSCME only.)
  • Council obviously made a decision in closed session to continue negotiations with the firefighters. No vote has been taken during open session at any time since June 22 to rescind the original resolution to lay off firefighting personnel.
  • Of course I will keep you updated on the progress of the complaint. IIRC (if I remember correctly) it takes minimally about six weeks for a response.

    Council’s violations of the firefighter layoff resolution and the budget ordinance are of concern as well, but treated separately from the the OMA violations.

    5 thoughts on “Lawlessness Complaint”

    1. Well, with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan staying put it looks and that she is making another run at AG, maybe she’ll look over your complaint and pick DeKalb as one of her first, “I’m gonna get you” missions. Closed door violations and the attitude that rules of meeting and the laws prescribed by the State don’t pertain to DeKalb might get a little test here shortly. Home Rule or no Home Rule, there are still rules that are mandatory to follow.

      Where’s Norma Guess been lately, pretty quiet and Steve might get a pretty interesting “How do you do?” here soon also.

      Thanks for sending that complaint Yinn.

    2. Point of clarification: It is OK for Council to consider something that is not listed on the agenda but it is NOT OK for them to act on something that’s not an agenda item.

    3. On behalf of the masses (I not being one) who just don’t get it, thank you Lynn. “You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall!” And we do. That person being none other than you.

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