January 22, 2017 · 2 Comments
SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –
On January 20, 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its Opinion in Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v. The Attorney General of the State of Illinois upholding the Appellate Court’s decision to uphold the Circuit Court’s decision to overturn the Attorney General’s Binding Opinion on an alleged violation of Section 2(e) of Open Meetings Act.
The Supreme Court stated that:
In citing case law, it referred to Roller v. Board of Education of Glen Ellyn School District #41, and to Allen v. Clark County Park District as the only two cases considering the meaning of Section 2(e) of the Open Meetings Act, agreeing with both previous cases. Roller was determined not to be a violation, while in Allen determined a violation did occur and overturned the Circuit Court’s decision to dismiss the case.
The Supreme Court also stated that without a recital and vote in public session, any “vote” in closed session, including signing of an agreement, does not constitute final action – “without a public vote, no final action has occurred” –
In ¶ 44 the Court defined “recital” as requiring the public body to publicly recite the “nature of the matter to be considered” and defined “nature” of a matter as a “fundamental quality that distinguishes one thing from another” (Black’s Law Dictionary) to mean the requirement is to (in nonspecific terms) “state the essence of the matter under consideration, its character, or its identity.” The Court also went on to explain the meaning of “other information” to require specific items of business under consideration to use “specific terms” to inform the public of the specific item of business.
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