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November 29, 2023

Village Attorney Says Martin Luther King Jr. Day Is Not A Holiday –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 27, 2023

Poplar Grove, IL. (ECWd) –

After our email and article to the village explaining to them that the village of Poplar Grove Electoral Board’s special meetings scheduled to be held on Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday would violate the Open Meetings Act, the meetings were rescheduled.

After the rescheduling village attorney Roxanne Sosnowski wrote a letter which was read at the following village board meeting, and in part says:

To be clear, there was no violation of the Open Meetings Act – as the Board is aware with the recent discussion on Juneteenth – the Village of Poplar Grove is allowed under Illinois law to establish it’s own holiday schedule which it has done via ordinance and Martin Luther King Day is not a holiday in the Village.”

The very first part is correct, the “was” no violation of the Open Meetings Act, but only because they canceled and rescheduled the meetings. If they would have continued to hold those meetings, they would have violated the Open Meetings Act – it does not matter what the village ordinance says about this holiday – it is a legal holiday.

The rest of her statement is hogwash.

According to the Open Meetings Act, Section 2.01, meetings cannot be held on a legal holiday (state or federal) unless the regularly scheduled meeting lands on that holiday. Each public body is required, under Section 2.02, to annually publish its schedule of regular meetings. Any meeting not on the published annual meeting schedule is a special meeting or an emergency meeting and cannot be held on a legal holiday.

There was recently a similar issue in Kansas Township, in which the Attorney General’s PAC determined special meetings on holidays violate the Open Meetings Act (here).

The Attorney General has repeatedly stated that the Promissory Note and Bank Holiday Act are controlling when determining holidays according to the Open Meetings Act, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day is listed as a legal holiday, and no public body can change that fact, not even the village of Poplar Grove.

The bottom line here is that the village of Poplar Grove does not possess the powers to declare that established national holidays are not holidays within the Village (for OMA purposes).

 

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6 Comments
  • Mark Walden
    Posted at 12:49h, 27 January

    no she dit-ent

  • Cindy
    Posted at 23:42h, 27 January

    That’s right, It’s not a legal holiday in the sense that it’s a cooked-up lying criminals decided it was a holiday. We all have to put up with it. The village will have t comply, also.

  • John K
    Posted at 01:05h, 28 January

    So, to be clear, the City of Springfield, a Home Rule Unit of Government, which has NEVER closed for President’s Day (they do close for Lincoln’s Birthday), cannot hold an OMA covered meeting on President’s Day, even though that is a normal business day?

    • Kirk Allen & John Kraft
      Posted at 07:47h, 28 January

      A public body can only hold a REGULAR meeting on a Holiday if it falls on the meeting schedule for the year.

      • John K
        Posted at 18:31h, 28 January

        So … that would be why governments don’t have regularly scheduled meetings on the 3rd Monday of the month (January, MLK; February, President’s Day).

  • AttorneyDumbDumb
    Posted at 09:48h, 13 February

    This law firm must be the dumbest law firm. Joe Sosnowski’s wife to beat. Maybe the NAACP needs to ask Joe what his wife was thinking.

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