Edgar Co. -ECWd
It's been over three years that we have been educating ourselves on the laws pertaining to our public bodies, and exposing them when they willfully break those laws.
The original efforts were to simply ask them to do what they were supposed to based on the law, but that became futile when those in charge felt they could continue doing as they wish because they thought We The People have no right to demand accountability.
From out-right theft, to total disregard for compliance with the Open Meetings Act and/or the Freedom of Information Act, we have pretty much seen it all. Sadly most of those involved in breaking those laws fabricated excuses that the Watchdogs, the messenger, are costing them money or just creating trouble. We have even heard claims that the only reason we do this is to make money, which is laughable at best.
Is seeking accountability from our elected officials such a crazy thing to ask?
We don't think so, and apparently our efforts are slowly but surely being recognized by both professional service providers and national publications.
This law firm has now used the Binding Opinion in this article, an opinion issued to the Edgar County Airport, which was established by the Edgar County Watchdogs demand for accountability. Our efforts for simply asking the law to be followed are now recognized and being shared by a top law firm. Shared for the purpose of educating other public bodies of what not to do.
Our work has also been mentioned in at least 5 daily newspapers, numerous times. We have been on broadcast news and talk radio shows within the past couple of months.
Changes to state statutes have been withdrawn from consideration at the last minute because we submitted evidence, verified by legislative attorneys, that the changes would have violated the Illinois Constitution. More recently; no-bid contract awards have been tabled, previous "gimme" contracts are now going out for bid, meeting notices and agendas routinely posted, and several public bodies have started video taping their own meetings so that those who could not attend have the opportunity to watch it at a later date. It all makes for a more transparent, open, and better government.
The National Review recently published this article that was directly linked to our work, that again was exposing the wrongdoing of our public officials. If a Nationally recognized publication is able to recognize the message, why is it so hard for some of the local officials to understand it's not about the messenger?
Why do I mentioned this? The political hacks and wannabe important political groupies will jump all over this and rattle off a half dozen different reasons.
I mention it because those hacks and wannabes need to have a wake up call. We are not going away and we are making a difference, like it or not. We will continue to fight for We The People and demand accountability from our public officials.
Our efforts have lead to numerous other people seeking our help in this state. Specifically from citizens in Edgar, Vermilion, Douglas, Iroquois, Ford, Effingham, DeWitt, DuPage, Clark, Coles, Kankakee, and Edwards Counties. We are duplicating the watchdog concept and the team of common, ordinary, hard working people being established is, and will continue to, make this state a better place to live.
Citizens can and do make a difference when they speak up. It's high time more people take the step they know is right and join the fight in bringing accountability back to our governments, both here at home and across this country, to include Washington DC.
If you are one of those people who want to get involved but just don't know how, let us help you. Shoot us a comment on the tip line at: (312) 566-8078 or send a message at this link, bottom of page. Your information is confidential and will never be released without your permission.
We the People is about all of us! You can make a difference! There is plenty people can do, and it would surprise you how big of a help it is. Just in this recent article, a "Call To Action" has lead to major assistance in exposure of wrong doing. Local people reviewing documents for matters only they would know, has led to the names of people receiving flood grant funding even though they were never impacted by the flood. Even worse, a local concerned citizen doing nothing but reviewing those documents found that one person received over $6,000.00 worth of dental work with flood grant funding. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to know personal dental work is not something legally funded with disaster funds.
What might surprise you once you do take that step of getting involved, is that you will have more in common with others that are involved than you ever imagined. It truly is a network of like minded people with hearts of gold.
Simply attending public meetings will show that citizens are interested in the affairs of their government.
Step up, be a part of fixing what's broke in our state!