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July 6, 2022

AG: Madison County Violated Open Meetings Act re: Public Comment Advance Sign-up –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On November 11, 2021

Madison Co., IL. (ECWd) –

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor finally issued a determination, taking 39 months to figure it out, confirming what we already knew; Madison County Board violated the Open Meetings Act on August 15, 2018, when it enforced its public comment policy of requiring a written 53-hour advance notice of a person’s intent to speak at a county board meeting.

This is simply another determination in a long string of determinations related to public comment rules and how far in advance of a meeting a public body tried to force people to sign up. In Pecatonica Township, the AG determined former Supervisor Joe Musso violated the public’s right to speak when requiring attendees to sign up 15 minutes in advance of a meeting (here, here, and here). The AG also published a Binding Opinion against McLean County Board for unreasonable advanced sign-up rules (here).

On August 18, 2018, Kirk Allen and I attended the Madison County board meeting (article here) to speak to the board. I signed up in advance and was permitted to speak, Kirk did not sign up in advance and was not permitted to speak. He filed a request for review with the AG’s PAC office. This determination comes more than three years after the alleged violation – which is one reason people take it to the courts instead of to the AG. This should not have taken three years to figure out.

The Madison County Board has since amended its public comment policy; however, the new policy is still in violation of the Open Meetings Act and we suggest they amend it again.

Public comment rules are designed to enhance the public’s right to speak, not to further restrict them.

Read the AG determination below:

54487 o 206g pub comment improper co

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5 Comments
  • Publius
    Posted at 12:18h, 11 November

    Big win for transparency

  • RIPLUMBER
    Posted at 14:26h, 11 November

    The Madison County Republicans, led by Chris Slusser, are now using encrypted messaging software to send texts between themselves. So long FOIA in Illinois! The messages are permanently gone! This is from a county board caught texting in public meetings during COVID remote meetings.

  • GW ONE
    Posted at 17:02h, 12 November

    Madison County’s County Board, Republican controlled, and the Madison County Republican are a bunch of schemers. The Board can’t govern and the Republican Parity, controlled by the “Sad Seven,” have reduced lying, cheating and character assignation to perfection, I suspect Chris Slusser masterminds the Sad Seven’s activities; but if not, Slusser’s experienced associates include Ray Wesley, Tom McRae, and Mike Babcock. They too are Master Commanders of bad behavior. Soon, Slusser and his cohorts will be exposed. In the meantime, you may be Treasurer Mr. Slusser, but you should stop trying to be the influencer with the County Board.

  • CC
    Posted at 10:42h, 13 November

    This was the same policy the Madison County Board had back when Alan Dunstan was in office and had a Democrat majority-controlled Board. So why haven’t these oppressive policies been changed since he left? This is a blatant fleecing of the public with a “#FREE easy #MoneyMaker” for those few people in our society who want to take full advantage of this knowingly wrongful policy in the #IL Courts. Yet, as usual, nothing is easy in life for those who aren’t well connected nor is anyone truly free in IL.

  • Conservative Voice
    Posted at 17:02h, 14 November

    Why hasn’t Kurt Prenzler, the County Board Chariman for the past 5 years, attempted to change this policy? Why hasn’t he shown any leadership on this?

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