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October 4, 2010
Buffalo Grove Village Clerk doesn't get it
in dispute over meeting Minutes
I received an e-mail from Buffalo Grove Village Clerk Jan Sirabian regarding the controversy surrounding the lack of sufficiency of the proposed Minutes from last Monday's Committee of the Whole meeting.
Village Clerk Jan Sirabian
Here's the unedited, full statement by Jan, in exactly the same color and font that she sent it to me in:
Perhaps you should have attended the meeting to see what actually took place rather than making false allegations based on hearsay from someone else.
That's precisely my point, Jan. That's exactly why the Minutes need to consist of a summary of discussion, as the "Minutes" statute, Section 2.06(a)(3) of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, requires. Without the Village Clerk providing a summary of discussions from the public meeting, the only source of information is unreliable "hearsay from someone else."
I don't want to rely on hearsay. I want to rely on you, Jan. I trust you, Jan, but if your Minutes remain silent about the discussions that took place by the Trustees, hearsay is all that anybody has, unless and until individuals like me do some research, like calling the parties involved on the phone, as I did, to fill the void left by your failure to do a real set of Minutes.
Not everybody has the time nor persistence to do that. Not everybody has the personal relationships with leaders, from Barack to Pat to Lisa to Dane, that I have to be able do that.
That's why we need Minutes that contain a summary of the discussions.
In addition, nobody has the time to attend all of the government meetings that take place and are relevant to our lives. It's impossible to do that, even if you didn't do anything else in life, and there's more to life than attending government meetings.
The Village of Buffalo Grove has Board of Trustees meetings on Monday nights, every other week. Then, there are the "Buffalo Grove Days" Committee meetings on Tuesday nights, Arts Commission meetings and Plan Commission meetings on Wednesday nights and other Committees meeting on various nights throughout the month. Don't forget, the Park District has their meetings on the alternate Mondays that the Village Board is not meeting.
The library board meets on Wednesday nights, too.
There's the School Board that meets on Thursday nights, but wait! There's the elementary school district and the high school district, so now there are two sets of school board meetings to attend on various Thursday nights throughout the month.
The Cook County Board meets on Tuesdays, but they meet during the day, during normal business hours. I'd like to attend those meetings, but I just don't have time for it.
The Committees of the Illinois General Assembly meet in Springfield every week, during the legislative session, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There are 33 Senate Committees and 61 House Committees so, all day long on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, numerous Committees are meeting simultaneously in separate rooms in the Capitol or next door in the legislative office building. Even when I'm in Springfield, I have to pick and choose which Committee hearings to attend, based on which ones are hearing the issues most important to me because, so often, several Committees are considering legislation important to me, simultaneously.
Somebody could sit at home and watch Congress, all day, on C-SPAN, but you still couldn't keep up because the House and the Senate meet simultaneously, and they have numerous Committees, too, that meet simultaneously.
That doesn't even begin to touch on the Judicial Branch of government. I'd like to attend court hearings to monitor the way in which people are systematically treated unfairly by our State court system, but just the Rolling Meadows branch, alone, has twenty court rooms that operate simultaneously. Then there are all the other branches, plus the courtrooms in the Daley Center, downtown.
As you can see, nobody can attend all of the really important government meetings that take place during our lives.
That's why God created Minutes. Do your job, Jan. Create a real set of Minutes from last Monday's meeting, rather than simply putting forth, as a purported set of Minutes, a glorified, enhanced Agenda which has a referral to other "supporting documentation" that nobody has access to except the Trustees.
See you, tonight, at the Board meeting. 7:30 p.m., Buffalo Grove Village Hall.
Previous Rob Sherman News stories about this subject matter:
Sunday, October 3: Buffalo Grove Trustee backs Sherman in dispute over meeting Minutes
Saturday, October 2: Illinois Open Meetings Act backs Sherman in dispute over Buffalo Grove meeting Minutes
Friday, October 1: Sherman to challenge Minutes of Buffalo Grove Committee of the Whole meeting
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