Sunday, May 13, 2007

Peoria Park Board - Summation of Series on Government Boondoggling

This blog wraps up a digest of the happenings to date in the Alms-Partridge lawsuit against the Park District; a case in which a judge has already ruled that the Park Board did indeed break the Open Meetings Act and a trial could take place.

To date there appears to be an effort on the part of the defendants to broker a deal, meanwhile stretching out the costs to the plaintiffs who are not seeking any monetary gain.

This sad tale of a great waste of the publics time and money by both the park and school administrations, could perhaps be more easily followed if you start at Part ONE of this series.

Those who believe in transparent, open, fair and balanced government processes should not hesitate to contribute to the plaintiff’s expenses. Support them with your contributions to RALLY PEORIA %Karrie Alms P.O, Box 44, Peoria, Il, 61650-0044.

These two community caring people are doing the job most of us do not want to take the time or spend the money to do, Meanwhile, Public Elected Officials spend your money to defend themselves, the Peoria Public Park’s own incompetence, arrogance or whatever with your TAX DOLLARS.

I am writing these blogs as an individual who strongly supports the Open Meeting Act and transparency in government dealings. As you know, I am also a member of the Peoria County Board and our Administrator would not allow or authorize the erasure of any tapes of the importance of these tapes. The tapes “accidentally” erased were detailing very controversial RECENT actions. Any tapes of Executive Sessions are not erased by the County WITHOUT the approval of our Administrator, the approval our Attorney and full board signing off on the erasure. If controversial tapes were erased before they were translated by any employee reporting to our administrator, I’m positive some very strong action would be quickly taken.

It appears the Park Board just got around to setting a policy of the handling of tape recordings. Shouldn’t that strike we taxpayers as UNUSUAL? This policy wasn’t set until May 9th, 2007!!

If you are interested in the Counties LONG standing policy, contact our administrator at 672-6056.

The Park District is paying outside attorneys as well as their own law firm with the meter running up legal bills for the property tax payer to eventually pay.

On May 6, 2006 the Peoria Journal Star reported that a Lawsuit had been filed against the Peoria Park District stating that “the Peoria Park District should not have discussed plans to build a new school near Glen Oak Park during a closed meeting.”

The concern that the plaintiffs have had for some time is that the whole matter of the location of a new public school, the Glen Oak School, at Glen Oak Park site was done without sufficient exposure to the public and opportunity for dialogue,” said Bill Shay, attorney for Karrie Alms and Sarah Partridge.

As previously mentioned, the Journal Star filed a complaint in March with the Illinois Attorney General’s office alleging violations regarding the Open Meeting Act.

On May 9, 2006 the JS reported that the Attorney General’s office sent a letter to the Peoria Park Board on Monday asking it to respond to a Journal Star allegation that the board broke the law.

As to the “accidentally” erased tapes? Our local States Attorney has ruled against any action because “the person admitting to erasing the tapes was not a member of the board.”


Cal Skinner said...

The Public Access attorneys at the Illinois Attorney General's Office say that people suing under the Freedom of Information Act can be reimbursed.

Why not call and ask about the possibility of attorney's fees for violations of the Open Meetings Act?

Anonymous said...

Unlike personal injury cases which are usually taken on a contingency basis, Open Meetings Act cases, which are highly unusual for citizens to undertake, are funded upfront with possible attorney fees reimbursed at the end.

Martin Palmer said...

Check out the PPD wwb site on the next meeting on the possable settlement on the OMA lidagation.

Is to be discussed in open sesson.