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City Faces Another Potential Open Meetings Violation

City Faces Another Potential Open Meetings Violation

A seemingly benign resolution sparked another debate over whether the City of Springfield is, once again, violating the Open Meetings Act.

Most aldermen voted to pass a resolution supporting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Musueum as it applies for grant money. But they did it on emergency passage without giving advance notice they were doing so, which doesn’t sit well with Ward 7′s Joe McMenamin.

“It’s besides the point whether this is a controversial ordinance or not because we’re establishing significant precedent here,” said McMenamin. “You do it with this one and then it could be done next time with something controversial, and you look back and sasy ‘well we’ve done it before.’”

Media law attorney Don Craven agrees, citing a case in Adams County, Illinois where an unmarked item passed under new business without proper notice.

The city’s newly appointed corporation counsel, Todd Greenburg, told aldermen the item was on the agenda somewhere, so it doesn’t violate the act.

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