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Jasper County – State’s Attorney makes wrong call…..again!

Jasper Co. (ECWd) –

We encourage the citizens of Jasper County to first read this article to get a grasp of the failures taking place within your County Government, specifically those from the State’s Attorney.

I filed a request for review with the Attorney General regarding what we considered to be an illegal action and violation of the Open Meetings Act during a recent vote for the use of ATV/4-wheelers on County roads.  Our allegation was spot on and confirmed with the PAC office.

“Jasper County State’s Attorney, Mr. Chad Miller, called me (PAC) on August 31, 2017, to express concerns about the remote attendance vote
. After our discussion, Mr. Miller informed me that in order to remedy the violation, he intended to have the Board re-vote on the ATV resolution at its next meeting.”

When I received this information from the PAC, I was actually told that the AG made the suggestion to re-vote the matter.  When I outlined why that was improper, the PAC acknowledged such an action is outside their authority.  That begs the question as to why they would give advice on a matter under which they have no authority?  More on that later.

I informed the PAC the only remedy needed was to properly record the legal votes taken.  Doing so, as outlined in the previous article means the resolution passes as the vacant board member’s vote does not count and should have never been recorded.

Instead of following the law, it appears they are going to re-vote on the ATV resolution.  We contend that is not proper for the very reasons confirmed: it already passed.

I guess we will once again instruct this public body on how to comply with the law and their own rules, as it’s evident the State’s Attorney is not up to speed on something as simple as a proper recording of minutes which should contain all the legal votes and not the illegal ones as they did.

Jasper County has adopted Roberts Rules of Order.

Legally, there is nothing to re-vote on as they already voted and simply recorded it wrong, nor is a re-vote an option under Roberts Rules of Order.  Bringing this matter back to the table for what is knows as “reconsideration” would have been an option, however, doing so requires such a motion to be made on the same day as the meeting in which the motion to be reconsidered was decided (or on the next day business is conducted, if the session is more than one day.

They could utilize a motion to rescind option to rescind the resolution, however following that path first confirms the resolution did in fact pass.

“It differs from the motion to reconsider in that there is no time limit on making this motion and any member regardless of how the member voted on the original question can make it.”

“Unlike a motion to reconsider, which only needs a majority vote to pass, a motion to rescind is more of a challenge. In order to rescind something previously adopted by a majority vote, the board must have received notice of the intent to present such a motion either at a previous meeting or with the call of the meeting (as long as the time between meetings is within a quarter). If that pre-meeting notice does not occur, then the vote required to rescind is two-thirds of those present and voting or a majority of the entire membership of an organization (not just those present).”

“The motion to rescind can be introduced at a time when no other business is pending. After being recognized by the chair, a member makes the motion to rescind. The motion should include a description or reference to the decision in question (worded as closely as possible to any notice that has already been provided). Another member then must second the motion. The chair restates the motion to rescind and asks for debate. During the debate, any member may propose amendments (changes that are greater than the scope of notice are not in order). After the full debate, the vote is taken on rescinding the motion.”  Parliamentarian Procedure

The Proper legal advice in our opinion would be to amend the minutes to reflect what legally happened during the meeting, which was the passage of an ATV Resolution.

Will they follow the law and their own rules or continue down the path of doing as they wish, law and rules be damned?

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Categories: feature, Jasper County

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