Questions Regarding Custody of City Seal & Handling of Documents

DeKalb city clerk Jenny Johnson does not know where the official seal of the city is located, or whether it is secure. We found this out last Saturday, when she held a meeting to inform citizens of her current role, and to gather information about what we envision for the future. A dozen citizens attended,…

Forget What You’ve Heard about Steve Kapitan’s Resignation as City Clerk

***Update 5:45 p.m.*** The Facebook discussion on this post is here. I’m going to ask you to set aside for a few moments everything you’ve heard about why Steve Kapitan resigned as DeKalb city clerk in 2012. Instead, I’d like for you to entertain the possibility that he was a casualty of a DeKalb city…

An Important Amendment to the Open Meetings Act

I knew the General Assembly was debating the bill last year, but missed the August passage of Public Act 099-0402, which amends an important provision of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA). (5 ILCS 120/3.5) Sec. 3.5. Public Access Counselor; opinions. (a) A person who believes that a violation of this Act by a public…

About Northwestern’s Desire to Acquire KishHealth

I want to thank the DeKalb County Citizens for Better Mental Health Care (CBMH) for keeping abreast of these developments and getting the word out. In fact, if it weren’t for the ad hoc CBMH, there wouldn’t even have been a public hearing on the matter; hearings are not automatic and must be requested of…

DeKalb’s Abuse of the Consent Agenda

We’ve occasionally pointed out how DeKalb’s ordinances don’t always match up to Illinois statutes. The most recent example is contained within the lawsuit filed last week against the city, which details how the language of the DeKalb Municipal Code differs from state law in the matter of mayoral voting. So, too, does the language differ…

City of DeKalb Probably Violated the Open Meetings Act Again Last Night

Mayor Rey opened the city’s strategic planning meeting last evening just after 5pm, only to be challenged from the audience by county board member and Preserve Our Neighborhoods founder Misty Haji-Sheikh. Haji-Sheikh raised a point of order about the legality of the meeting. The “retreat” meeting was billed as Committee of the Whole, which the…

Request Accepted for Review of City Manager’s Pay Raise Decision

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has accepted my Request for Review of the DeKalb city council’s decision of May 26 to raise the city manager’s pay without public discussion. From the Request: There was no public deliberation of this matter even though citizens requested beforehand, both privately and publicly, that Council remove the…

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Still on the subject of DeKalb’s service agreement with website designer CivicPlus. There are two versions available: the agreement included in the February 9 agenda packet, and the version that Mayor John Rey signed on February 11. No, they are not the same. Yes, it is disturbing to think that we would be reading one…

We Must Have a Do-Over of DeKalb’s New FOIA Policy

While there are several things wrong with the city’s new Freedom of Information Act policy when it comes to direct violations of FOIA as a law, there is also something larger and more insidious at work here. What I’m talking about is that the FOIA policy item was placed as a resolution on the consent…