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June 15, 2024

Vermilion County Board taking steps to limit public comment –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 11, 2015

Vermilion Co., IL. (ECWd) –
The Vermilion County Board is set to take action to limit public comment time from five minutes per person, to three minutes per person. this will come to a vote at their August 11, 2015 County Board Meeting.
After taking extensive heat for more than a year, Chairman Maron is apparently deciding that the public is the problem, not the board. He must be tired of listening to those pesky voters and others for 30 whole minutes each meeting.
It must be that they have “more important” business to deal with other than listening to the people they swore to serve.
I’m sure we’ll hear about how this will “streamline” public comment and “provide more opportunity” for people to address the board and that this is simply a “cosmetic change” – nevermind that they could simply increase the public comment time to 45 minutes…now that would enhance the public’s right to speak. Unlike this new policy change.
There you go Vermilion County, remember that when you are asked for your vote in the upcoming elections. Ask yourself this question: “Did my elected representative listen to me and did they offer appropriate time during meetings to listen to others?”


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  • George Barraclough
    Posted at 07:14h, 11 August Reply

    Sounds like the Vermillion County Board is returning to pre-Civil War days, i.e.
    U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3:
    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
    Changed by Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment.
    See more at:

  • jannie
    Posted at 07:20h, 11 August Reply

    Although I believe it is common to see 3 min. limit in other counties for public comment. Though I’ve never heard of someone being cut off “exactly at 3 min.” unless it’s way over. However, I’m wondering, is it every meeting they have 30 minutes of public comment? 6 speakers at 5 min each.

  • Warren J. Le Fever
    Posted at 11:42h, 11 August Reply

    My experience has been that whenever you see a government body move to limit or express a desire to limit or eliminate public expression on public matters in any civil form; whether it be public comment at public meetings, public comment at committee meetings, comments in social media or in the press, that government body is doing something else (or many things) wrong that is being objected to by the public. As long as it is well behaved and fair allowing both sides of an issue to be commented upon, there is no problem. A public body has the right to allow individual members to rebuttal comments under committee reports as well if the chairman allows it. Public body members may also use methods of communication outside the meeting to respond. Having had the experience of being on the receiving end of public comments by parties who disagreed with me, I still firmly believe in their right to speak. I have also had the experience of having a mayor allow his family, friends and cronies make negative comments about me in a public meeting without being allowed to state my side. THAT’S WHEN PUBLIC COMMENT IS BEING — USED AS A TOOL OF AB– USE. it is not when speech is allowed that is wrong, it is when speech is silenced that is wrong.

  • Theodore P. Hartke, PE, PLS, President, Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc.
    Posted at 23:24h, 12 August Reply

    Update from Ted Hartke, citizen who attended this meeting:
    Many Vermilion County Board members are unable to endure criticism before or after they make stupid decisions. A majority of them are naive and weak, incapable of looking at the facts. A bulk of them have been too lazy to dig for the truth, and they have accepted what they are told by the current leadership without checking the “facts” which are presented by the leaders or county staff. We need more intelligent and more caring people on this board. In my short exposure to this group, I have received and have witnessed others receive mistreatment and disrespect. Not all is bad and horrible, as there have been a few glimmers of light, but so far, those brief sparks have been quickly extinguished. They have merely provided just a small shred of hope.
    Last night’s meeting was interesting. After the meeting, I received some acceptable answers to three of the questions I asked. (They were the easy questions.) As far as the harder questions, we are still waiting for answers. One easy question was if Will Nesbit (board member Chuck Nesbit’s son) was receiving full-time county wages while he was finishing up his college courses to graduate. Chucks answer that his son (Will Nesbit) finished his dual degree coursework on-line during evenings and weekends because he was working his county elections office salary job full-time before graduation. I appreciated Chuck’s immediate feedback after the meeting. Ryan Anderson also spoke to me after the meeting. After he was declared county finance officer, he was still attending Purdue University. He told me that he did not start receiving full time pay until after his graduation. He seemed worried/concerned that he had done something wrong toward me personally, and I answered that I do not have any reason to believe he was bad or directed any ill will toward me. I told him I was very pleased (and impressed) that he took initiative to set the record straight, and I thanked him.
    A languishing problem is that there has been zero response from Mike Marron or Bill Donahue to clarify these other wind turbine related questions I have asked. This shows how much he cares about correcting problems or answering questions. He must not be capable of stooping to the level of citizen/taxpayers to be bothered with such lowly questions. Even the non-wind turbine questions go unaddressed. I wonder how long the “free land give-a-way” will stand.
    I think there are some well-intentioned people on this board, but they are extremely gullible as they are easily misled. Collectively, they passed the change to a three minute time limit for public comments. The result will be the same as when they installed security/video cameras to protect themselves from “violent” wind farm victims. There was no change which helped Vermilion County citizens. No matter what changes they make to limit public comments or blame those affected by wind turbine noise, the problems will still persist: Wind turbines are noisy, people cannot sleep in their homes, Marron will continue to be a sell-out, Donahue will continue to make excuses and ignore reality, and more people will be harmed because too many board members fail to do the right thing.
    Marron and company likely installed this time limit as a way to reduce the chances that the lazy followers will hear the accurate details which Marron/Donahue would rather keep in the dark. Lots of people are waking up to the realization that these wind turbines are a really bad deal, but in Vermilion County, it is taking a long time and many families are in harm’s way.
    To contact Mike Marron, his email address is [email protected] or [email protected] and his phone number is 217.841.5269
    To contact Ted Hartke, my direct number is 217.840.1612 and my email is [email protected]
    I stand by my statements and I believe they will withstand the test of time. I wonder if Marron or Donahue will respond to my other questions. I wonder how long they will ignore the reality that wind turbines produce dangerous sleep depriving infrasound/low-frequency noise which I and many others consider to be the true fatal flaw of wind turbines. I wonder how many other communities (such as Logan County) are harmed by Bill Donahue after he sends information to their wishful-thinking board leaders (such as chiropractor David Hepler.)
    Time will tell. For the sake of others, I truly hope I am wrong about this. In the meantime, to err on the side of caution would be wise. Perhaps people need to learn from the mistakes of others.

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