Chuck Fieldman, the reporter, wrote in part:
"The Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board violated the Open Meetings Act Oct. 17 by holding a closed session discussion not authorized by any exception to the general requirement that public bodies openly conduct business, the Attorney General’s Office ruled.
Board President Marty Turek said he was holding off on making any comments, as the public access counselor’s opinion was still being reviewed....
....Based on the findings, the board was directed to release the portions of the closed session minutes and closed session verbatim recording that reflect the board’s discussion.
For all the critics of this blog that insist that the bloggers and some of the commenters only complain and do not help the district move forward, we respond as follows:
1. It is very difficult to trust the BOE or past administrators when they violate the very laws that the Illinois legislators enacted to ensure open government and transparency.
2. When the BOE thinks it is appropriate to violate the Open Meetings Act, and force a respected community member to file a complaint with the Public Access Counselors Office of the Attorney General's office in order to ensure that justice is served, it proves that something is very wrong with the public officials we elected to represent our interests.
3. It would be interesting to know how much taxpayer money was wasted on attorneys fees by the BOE to unsuccessfully oppose Ms. Mayer's Open Meetings Act complaint. We challenge the administration to release this information to the public.
The only questions that now remain are:
Will the BOE comply with the directive that it release the verbatim recording of the executive session discussion that was in violation of the Open Meetings Act?
Will the BOE learn anything from this ruling and will any of the seven board members suggest that the full board participate in a public educational session on Open Meetings Act Compliance?
What will Dr. White say about this ruling, if anything? We believe based upon what he accomplished in his former district, that he is a "transparency advocate." This is his chance to take a public stand and publicly encourage the board to participate in Open Meetings Act training beyond the online training that all seven board members were already required to complete, but which obviously was not enough.
We challenge even one board member to insist that additional OMA training be scheduled during an upcoming board meeting and invite the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor to conduct it.