Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Merit Commission at S/O?

The regularly-scheduled, November meeting of the Merit Commission of the Sheriff's Department, to be held today at 10:30AM, is on the County calendar.

Only now it is not scheduled for today. The meeting has apparently been re-scheduled to November 8 at 3:00PM. Of course, there are immediate problems with that date.

The date is a Saturday.
More importantly, the date is four days AGO.

Since the meeting on the calendar is noted as "rescheduled" and not as "canceled", presumably the legal notice was given by posting the new date in a public place and by notifying the media, as required by the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Why would this Commission meet on a Saturday? And why would it meet four days before its regular-scheduled meeting?

Something smells, and I don't think it's last week's fish.


Joe Mama said...

Maybe they were conducting interviews for new employees. Not everything is a conspiracy Gus.

Gus said...

As a matter of fact, that's what they were doing. It was apparently discussed at the October Merit Commission meeting, although I don't recall hearing that over the telephone used for the conference call.

My quarrel is that they did not meet the Open Meetings Act (OMA)requirement by posting the meeting ON the date for which it was scheduled. I don't expect the County to re-create the calendar and make it seven days, instead of five. But they could have noted it on the day before, to provide adequate notice to the public - as required by the OMA.

Jay said...

When routine matters such as the hiring of new deputies starts to draw concern from the people maybe the Sheriff's Depart. might want to think about being more transparent with their public relations. From what I hear around the courthouse the Sheriff's Dept. may have it's fair share of "conspiracies". I wouldn't dismiss anything. An informed public is a powerful public.

Gus said...

After I raised the issue of the Saturday Merit Commission scheduling, I realized that I had attended a Special Meeting of the M.C. in October, not the Regular Meeting where the November date was changed. However, this doesn't change my mind about the failure of the County to meet the requirement of the Open Meetings Act to post the meeting on the correct day of the November online calendar (or, in the case of its 5-day workweek calendar, on the preceding day).

The executive assistant in the County Board office did offer to explore asking I.T. to convert the calendar to a 7-day view, but I asked her not to do that on my behalf. The money to re-program the calendar could be better spent elsewhere.

Gus said...

In my opinion, some member(s) of the public should take an interest in every commission created by a government entity. The commission represents the public, and their members' noses shouldn't get out of joint if/when the public shows up at meetings.

Gene said...

The Merit Commission is used by the Sheriff to fire people and make it look like a decision from an independent board(yeah right). The more executive sessions and meetings done over the phone the less informed the public is about the way the Sheriff runs the dept. when he's not at his house in Florida or the one in Wisconsin.