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April 16, 2024

AG: Water District violated Open Meetings Act at Special Meeting –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 9, 2019


The Clark-Edgar Rural Water District held a Special Meeting on May 1, 2019.

During this special meeting, the district discussed items that were not listed on the agenda as discussion items.

The Illinois Open Meetings Act mandates that only items listed on an agenda may be discussed or acted on during a special meeting. This is a different standard than regular meetings where a public body my discuss, but not act upon, things not specifically listed on the regular meeting agenda.

I filed the OMA Request for Review after attending the meeting and observing the infractions, specifically for their discussions of several items related to providing water to the Village of Vermilion in Edgar County, discussion of grants/loans, and connecting unserved customers, and potentially taking over Vermilion’s water system.

The CERWD’s attorney responded (click here) to the AG’s Public Access Counselor basically denying any violations and claiming all of the discussions pertained to agenda items.

The AG disagreed, stating that the CERWD failed to provide sufficient advanced notice that it would discuss various issues, including those concerning bulk water rates at its May 1, 2019, special meeting. The AG agreed discussions on the manager’s salary were properly listed on the agenda.

Read the (Non-Binding) Opinion below:

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