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July 20, 2024

Clark Co. Park District suspends illegitimate meeting –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 27, 2015

Clark Co., IL. (ECWd) –

On May 26, 2015, the Clark County Park District tried to hold a finance committee meeting. The problem was that there were no appointed finance committee members.

One of the first items on the agenda was public comment, and I spoke first asking who was on the committee. The Board Chairman stated that he was going to appoint the members.

I responded, that according to the Park District policy manual he did not have the power to appoint members of a standing committee. That was the job of the Board, and the Board cannot take action unless it is at a Board meeting.

Park District policy (below)  specifically states that the Chairman (pg 9, section 5.1) can appoint special committees. It also states the Board (pg 9, section 6) appoints the standing and temporary committees and chairmen of those committees.

The Chairman wanted a 5 minute recess so they could call their attorney to find out what to do.  Kirk Allen suggested they simply read the policy as that might save the park from paying more attorney fees.

The Executive Director, Charity Murphy came back into the meeting room complaining that the policies are outdated as to insinuate they don’t have to be followed.

After considerable time reading the policy manual and asking each other what it meant to them, the Chairman did the right thing and determined the meeting would end and a special meeting of the board would be called to appoint committee members.

The reason this is an important step, is that it would be impossible to prosecute any civil suits or criminal actions for violations of the Open Meetings Act if there were never board appointments to the Committees as their policy requires. This is simply closing that loophole.

Immediately after the meeting, Park Security did this.

Video below courtesy of Dee Reel (start at the 3:30 mark):


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