Friday, December 9, 2011

Where are the Minutes?

An examination of the website of the City of Woodstock for the Minutes of the Cultural Diversity Commission revealed some interesting omissions.

According to information on the City's website, "This advisory commission promotes mutual understanding and respect among, and encourages and assures equality of opportunity for, all the people of Woodstock without regard for their race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, marital status, or national origin. This Commission meets quarterly in the Council Chambers of Woodstock City Hall."

Yet on another page of the City's website, information reads that "This Commission meets the 4th Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. ..." Which is it?

The City does not seem to publish an easily-found listing of the members of its Boards and Commissions, who are appointed by the Mayor and City Council (or by the Mayor, with the advice and consent of the Council). An inspection of Minutes will show the names of who is present at meetings.

The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires the publication on the City's website of the Agendas and the Minutes of this Commission. Now look at the list of recent meetings and the Minutes for them.

April 18, 2011 Agenda; no Minutes (CD Commission has not met since 4/18/11 to approve Minutes of that meeting)
January 26, 2009 Agenda; no Minutes
October 27, 2008
Agenda; no Minutes
September 22, 2008
Agenda; no Minutes
February 25, 2008
Agenda; no Minutes
January 28, 2008
Agenda; no Minutes
June 25, 2007
Agenda; no Minutes

If the Commission is to meet quarterly, why hasn't it? Numerous meetings were canceled. In 2011, for example, the January, February and March meetings were canceled. An April meeting was held, but on the 18th, not on the 25th. No Agenda is published for May and June; none for August or September; October was canceled; nothing was published for November.

Of greater importance, though, are the missing Minutes for the above meetings. Were these Minutes published at one time and then removed? Some of them are believed to contain records of expenditures by the Commission or the City related to Woodstock's sister city in Mexico, Zacatecas.

Who are the members of this Commission? Are they all Woodstock residents? Must they all be Woodstock residents? Were some City assets (police cars or Public Works vehicles) donated to Zacatecas? Were any funds expended on trips by Woodstock officials to Mexico or to host Mexican officials in Woodstock?

I recall some mention of a donation of a school bus and a fire truck to Zacatecas, but those vehicles were not owned by the City of Woodstock.

1 comment:

Nobody Important said...

They will start to fear you for poking around in this area. Be careful. A local Latino businessman should be able to help shed some light. He doesn't live in Woodstock though. Maybe his wife is the person to ask. She has experience in such matters. Perhaps ask the EEO of the Sheriff's Department. If she is still the EEO. I understand ASA Leist will be filling that position soon.