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July 13, 2024

Decatur Public Library Board shows contempt for citizens

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 6, 2019


How do you know when a public board is completely disinterested in what you are saying?

They show contempt towards the public during meetings by:

  • Staring at their watch, and making it overly obvious, while waiting for the 3 minute public comment time to expire
  • Stare at someone else’s watch anxiously waiting for speaker’s time to expire
  • Stare at notebook
  • Interrupt speaker asking for his home address
  • Avoid all eye contact
  • Lodge an objection for the person legally video recording the meeting

Pictures say a thousand words…(this is a screencap from a Marc Fusion video on YouTube)

Decatur Public Library Meeting: “The Timekeeper” did this during the entire time the speaker raised serious matters regarding expenditures of public funds.

The Timekeeper

During public comment, which can be viewed below, it is clear the message being delivered is one that we would hope public officials would take concern with but it is clear in this case, there was no concern raised about the questionable spending.  One member chose to “lodge an objection” to the person videotaping the meeting.  If he is a board member and has taken his Open Meetings Act training he would know that his objection is meritless. Videotaping public meetings is perfectly legal.

One member claimed the speaker was “technically” required to inform them he is filming and goes on to claim it was their counsel who advised them of that position.  Such a position is not supported by law and is yet another example of public officials not knowing even the most basic rules found in the Open Meetings Act.


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  • jannie
    Posted at 09:47h, 06 September Reply

    Been there done that. At a Park board mtg. had the President staring at the watch, and saying your time is almost up.

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:27h, 06 September Reply

    The Decatur Public Library has been badly mismanaged for years

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:41h, 06 September Reply

    An outrageous One million dollars is being spent to redo the Decatur Public Library parking lot. It is in need of being sealed and holes repaired for sure. I recently found out 3/4 of the library parking lot is going to be “green space”. One million dollars to redo a parking lot and 3/4 of it will be unavailable for parking when finished. There is something majorly wrong with that. The city has many roads that need repaired and that money would have been better used to fix roads instead of making a Utopian parking lot for the liberals who manage and work there. Tax dollars should be used wisely, not to satisfy the wet dreams of these liberals who are suppose to be servants of the people.

    • Paul K.
      Posted at 16:00h, 14 January Reply

      As I recall, a portion of the parking lot went (sold) to the business occupying the south east corner.

    • Paul K.
      Posted at 00:06h, 15 January Reply

      The parking lot, originally sized for a department store is underutilized for decades. The investment in green space won’t have a negative impact on the parking garage immediately to the south. I solemnly swear.

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:44h, 06 September Reply

    The arrogant clown on the right was acting guilty as sin.

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:54h, 06 September Reply

    I am constantly amazed by the bad advice given by boards counsel….. the counsel who advised that board member incorrectly about the filming should be summarily fired. We tax payers want to pay for good legal counsel, not irresponsible counsel

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:59h, 06 September Reply


    • Marc Fusion
      Posted at 17:08h, 06 September Reply

      They’re appointed and City Council refuses to hold them accountable, sadly

  • Jill
    Posted at 15:27h, 06 September Reply

    I wonder if the timekeeper is staring at her watch in order to keep time?? Just a thought…

    • Marc Fusion
      Posted at 18:19h, 07 September Reply

      No. I have spoken before multiple public bodies and very few hold you to exactly three minutes. Most will tell you “you’ve gone a little over, please finish up.” Donna Williams aka The Timekeeper is just rude and not interested, as are the other board members at DPL.

      • Paul K.
        Posted at 15:55h, 14 January Reply

        The ‘out-of-the-ordimary’ videography seemed to put certain members on the defensive.

        Based on the perception of a “technicality ” I’ll offer that the Decatur Public Library will fair well smetime after retaining better legal counsel.

  • Kyle Mitchell
    Posted at 06:38h, 07 September Reply

    In Streator there have been many times when Council Members interrupt Public Forum comment to change the subject, tell me to sit down, that they don’t want to hear what I have to say, make certain that I know that there are just 30 seconds left for me to speak, etc. The most outrageous though is when they ask if I “think” they are corrupt and then when I provide my requested opinion, say they have everything they need and will see me in court. Threatening their taxpayer funded legal attacks to try to bully citizens out of exercising their Constitutional Rights is just disgusting. City Manager, Scot Wrighton leaving Streator for Decatur was a positive for our community, but Streator’s gain is Decatur’s loss.

  • Edward H. York
    Posted at 09:00h, 07 September Reply

    I’ve attended one Decatur Public Library Board of Trustees meeting, as a citizen, and I know that two members lied to me regarding the problem I brought to the board. I would guess they do it all the time. Oh well, you know what they say about “Behind Closed Doors”. Perhaps these meetings should be called “Bored of Trustees” meetings.

  • James
    Posted at 22:07h, 07 September Reply

    Maybe things look different from a top their high horses,IDK? We get the same attitude here in Dekalb when asked why is $12,000 of tif money being used to fix somebodies sewer line, IDK? Corruption runs deep in this state. Taxpayers are being raped of the hard earned money everyday

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