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June 17, 2024

Wesley Twp unsuccesful at reversing AG Opinion stating it violated Open Meetings Act

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 28, 2019


In a surprise email from the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor’s office, it was clear Wesley Township had attempted to get the August 20, 2019, opinion stating they violated the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) overturned.

They did this by attempting to establish that the Township Supervisor acted unilaterally, “as the township’s executive officer,” when the township attempted to prohibit camping at its township park.

The PAC responded by stating the supervisor’s own recorded explanation during the July township meeting indicated it was not a unilateral decision, but rather a decision made by the board without voting on it during a township meeting.

The PAC quoted from the Supervisor’s recorded comments: “We had a situation, we acted on it. It was our estimation an emergent situation that we needed to stop any more problems with the Park, with the camping area. Four Board members agreed that we needed to stop the camping,.” (Emphasis added)

We should note, first and foremost, that nearly all of the perceived problems at the park were initiated and instigated by a board member and a so-called park volunteer.

Even (presumably) after their letter to the AG trying to backpedal, the Supervisor, again, during the August 13, 2019, meeting reiterated that all the trustees contacted her about the park (video below). We are left with contradicting stories – one in writing and one spoken at the meetings.

As far as a Township Supervisor’s powers as the Township’s Executive Officer, those powers and duties are spelled out in the Township Code, and a supervisor is not given unilateral powers to make decisions which must be made by the township board.

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