EDGAR CO. (ECWd) -
The last Airport "Advisory" Board meeting was held at the courthouse this past Tuesday, April 16, 2013.
Upon entering the courtroom, I took a seat in the jury section where two other people were seated. Bennett immediately told me that i was not allowed to sit there because it was only for the media. I informed her I was the media, and someone else informed her that Chris Patrick was seated there and was not media, she looked around to see if she could get any support from the other board members, and finding no support did not pursue that failing course. I remained in my seat.
Their first action was to accept Jake Payne's resignation as the board chairman and then vote to have Adonna Bennett, the illegally appointed board member (waiting on AG Binding Opinion) and Chris Patrick minion, as the new chairman of the advisory board.
Her first action, an action that was not listed on the agenda, was to allow a motion, second, and a vote to allow the chairman to have a vote during the meetings. Then under the "old Business" portion of the agenda she allowed action, action that was not listed on the agenda, on a motion, second, and a vote to reccommend to the county board that the airport not allow any commercial operations out of the main hangar and to stop working on the commercial lease. The result of this vote was then taken to the Edgar County Board, which will be discussed in a future article.
Both of the actions that ocurred during her fist hour on the job were illegal actions and were in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The OMA required that items must be listed on the agenda with sufficient information that would allow any person to determine, by reading the agenda, of any actions being contemplated by the public body. Since neither of those motions were listed on the agenda, there is no doubt that Bennett violated the law, as did the other 6 board members.
With that in mind, I filed a civil suit on April 17, 2013, naming the county, the airport board, and each member of that board as defendants. Case number 13MR36 in Edgar County. The OMA specifically states in 5 ILCS 120/4 that a violation of this Act is a Class C Misdemeanor.