City Violates Open Meetings Act

After an investigation, the Illinois Attorney General’s office determined the Naperville Electoral Board violated the state’s Open Meetings Act at a January 12 meeting.

Assistant Attorney General Steve Silverman said the three-person board did not openly deliberate during the meeting, didn’t allow public comments and didn’t include agenda items on public hearing notices. All three actions violate the Illinois law.

All three violations were regarding a petition from Naperville Smart Meter Awareness to put an advisory referendum on the primary election ballot this past March.

The City of Naperville will not face any penalties any punitive measures, but has been advised by the Attorney General to follow Illinois OMA guidelines. Naperville Smart Meter Awareness board member Tom Glass requested the review.

“The hearing that they had, the electoral board, was clearly not fair,” Glass said. “They met, had a decision made, it was already signed, came and dropped it on everyone without a chance to rebut it. They also went above and beyond the objections raised then because they obviously knew there were enough valid signatures and still to this day we contend there were enough valid signatures.”

Meanwhile, city officials still dispute that claim, but are happy to have some clarification regarding the Open Meetings Act.

“We can actually take a lot positive out of the letter,” said Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger. “There were some areas that were very gray that the Attorney General provided us with very clear clarification on their interpretation and that just helps us improve our processes going forward.”

Naperville Smart Meter Awareness is still pursuing legal action against the city in federal court. The next status hearing in that case is set for August 16.

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