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.