Will Co. (ECWd) -
It appears the recently appointed Township Clerk, Kulsum Ali, does not understand her duties as Clerk and ignored proper requests for a meeting by two trustees while honoring a later request by two others.
Trustee Alyssia Benford informed Clerk Ali that Trustees Benford and Raga requested a meeting for Monday, January 28, 2019. The Clerk did not provide the required notice to the board members. The proper request was made on January 22, 2019, at 4:01:35 pm.
Then, the following day, the clerk transmits an email to Trustees' Bendord and Raga that states:
"A Special Meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at 7:00PM with a motion made by Trustee Oliver and seconded by Trustee Burgess."
A motion by Oliver seconded by Burgess?
If Oliver and Burgess were making motions and seconding them we have a few questions. What meeting were they making such motions and seconding? When was this meeting posted? Making motions and seconding motions outside of a public meeting is an Open Meetings Act violation if such motions deal with the business of the public body.
Based on the communications it appears the new Clerk, who was appointed by the past Supervisor, Bill Mayer, has chosen to ignore the request for a meeting by two trustees while honoring the request by two others all while not realizing the difference between meetings and special meetings. Considering the Clerk's husband's ties to Township donations made by the past Supervisor it appears she has chosen to play politics rather than follow the law. When a Clerk takes it upon herself to ignore a valid request for a meeting by the board members she has failed in her mandatory duties.
The wife of the former Township Supervisor is claiming the only person that can post an agenda for the Township is the Clerk. It appears this is being done to try to prevent a meeting that was requested for Monday of next week. How interesting considering this Clerk refused to post an agenda for one meeting called yet did for another, which was presented by those with close ties to the former Supervisor who has financial political ties to organizations tied to the Clerk's husband. Yes, the web they weave!
Posting of the Notice and Agenda
The statues that cover agendas and their posting for public bodies is the Open Meetings Act.
While many Townships have adopted resolutions that place such a duty with an employee or official of the public body, the law simply points to the public body "ensuring" such notice and agenda are posted.
"5 ILCS 120/2.02 - The public body conducting a public meeting shall ensure that at least one copy of any requested notice and agenda for the meeting is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting."
So how can DuPage Township "ensure" proper posting?
Accountability starts with themselves. They can ensure the meeting is properly posted as the law requires by posting the notice and agenda themselves. In fact, we have seen many times where board members who disagree will call their desired meeting and post their desired agenda to coincide with the others call for a meeting. Grafton Township is one of epic stupidity as to how far such games went with so-called adults in the room.
You know when the argument comes down to who can or can not post an agenda there is more to the story. According to the Open Meetings Act, the public body's obligation is to ensure the meeting is posted. We have yet to find any opinion from the PAC office that restricts such posting to any one person for a meeting of the public body, Clerk or otherwise.
It is our opinion, based on reading numerous PAC opinions, as long as the Township meeting is properly posted, they can, in fact, hold their meeting, no matter who physically posted it.
We understand a meeting is being called for DuPage Township for Monday, February 4th, 2019 at 7 pm. For those within the DuPage Township organization, it would do you well to not tamper with meeting notices and agendas posted by any member of the public body for the conducting of the people's business. Those who have done so in other townships were put in their place by the circuit court.