Monday, August 22, 2011

Merit Commission DID meet in June, but legally?

Recently, I wrote that the McHenry County Sheriff's Department Merit Commission did not meet in June.

I was wrong.

Thanks to "Frmr Commisioner" (sic) who wrote a Comment on Cal Skinner's McHenry County Blog's article about the Scott Milliman firing, I learned that the Merit Commission actually did meet in June.

When I looked at the online June calendar of board and commission meetings (co.mchenry.il.us), I had looked only on the date of the Regular Meeting of the Merit Commission. It meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 10:30AM. Those are the Regular Meetings. The June 8th meeting is marked Cancelled, and there is no notation that it was re-scheduled.

However, if you look in the June 15th calendar box, you see the Merit Commission listed and, if you click on Agenda, you can see the agenda for that meeting. This must have been a Special Meeting, but it is not so marked. The Executive Session on the agenda does not mean that there was an Executive Session; it serves as a placeholder, in case they decide to have an Executive Session. Personally, I don't like that way of doing business, but some organizations get away with it.

Can a public body just move meetings around willy-nilly? No, I don't think so. The public would have a hard time keeping up with changes of this type. When you see that a monthly meeting is canceled and there is no note that it is re-scheduled, then it's off the calendar for that month, like so many other Merit Commission meetings.

Did the Merit Commission violate the Open Meetings Act by this action? There's a good way to find out.

Let's see; where's that coin? Heads, a letter about an Open Meetings Act violation goes to the McHenry County State's Attorney (which upheld a previous complaint I made about an OMA violation by the Merit Commission). Or Tails, a letter goes to the Public Access Counselor at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

2 comments:

Whitmore2 said...

Write a letter to the editor of the NWH while you are at it.

Gus said...

The McHenry County State's Attorney's office quickly reviewed my complaint and determined that an OMA violation did not occur.

There was an "oversight" by a member of the County Board's administrative staff, when the re-scheduling of the meeting was not announced at the time the June 8th meeting was canceled.