DuPage County, IL (ECWd) -
In years of attending meetings I have to say the actions of Chairman Erin Birt during the College of DuPage (COD) Board of Trustees meeting was one that reminded me of a kindergarten playground.
After close to 4 hours of games that included starting 21 minutes late, illegal actions by the board by forbidding a trustee to participate in executive session, illegal censure of a board member, multiple recess breaks, and 1st amendment violations during public comment, it was clear this board chairman is out of control........not to mention multiple Open Meetings Act violations.
With so much to cover we will work on breaking each topic out as an article of its own.
For starters, the very policy that this board is suppose to follow they ignored! They didn't bat an eye to violate their own rules, as it was clear with upwards of 100 people in attendance they knew the public comment would have swayed their illegal actions.
Policy #10 - Public comment is held at the beginning of the Board meeting so Trustees can hear from employees and the community before voting on Board items. (Click here for their current policy)
That did not happen! In fact, Chairman Birt discriminated against citizens, based on class, by selectively allowing student comment before voting on matters and forbid all others from public comment until after the illegal action they took was voted on. Even after multiple hours of waiting, the board censored public comment by forbidding the presenter the chance to display the prepared powerpoint presentation even though such a presentation format was well established as permissible in past meetings. More on that in a separate article.
When an elected board takes measures to purposely violate their own rules in order to silence the people, it's yet another example of how out of control our local public bodies are. They must be held accountable and based on feedback from last night's meeting, it is clear law suits are on the way.
You can view the COD uploaded video of the entire meeting at the link below. It is long, but well worth watching all of it as it shows the despicable behavior of Chairman Birt. We fully intend on exposing each and every violation of the law and will do so with both case law and AG opinions to prove our point.
John Kraft's presentation to the board started about the 2 hour 8 minute 48 second mark.
My presentation to the board started about the 2 hour 16 minute mark.