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September 20, 2012     Times
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Do You Know Who You Can Trust? It's a hard choice in today's financial marketplace. With so many banks and other financial companies trying to get your business, it's hard to know who really has your best interest at heart. What's the solution? Placing your trust in A Real Community Bank solves that problem. Because only banks qualified to display this banking seal of approval are dedicated to hometown values and hometown commitment. As A Real Community Bank, we're committed to the community where we live and work. Committed to making all our decisions locally and remaining focused on the needs of our customers and community. Come visit and tell us how we can serve you. 130 S. Washington St. - Mt Pulaski THE FARMERS 792-5211 www.farm-bank.com Water Levels Recovering By Mike Lakin City Treasurer Jim Sutton reported that Public Works Director Mike Patridge told between August 27 and September 11 the the City Council the city water well levels city had received $53,767.39. The amount are starting to turn positive. If the wells included the second half of the city share of continue this recovery phase, he said water county property taxes ($21,412.06). restrictions could be lifted by the September Dung the meeting, Charles Friend asked 25 meeting, to make a comment. Mayor Fuhrer did not ' Mike said the preparation for the Fall permit him to comment. Festival was not short of manpower. Corn- You're All Going To Jail munity Pride, American Legion, Mt. Pulaski At the end of the meeting, Charles Friend Jaycees, and others provided a lot of help this stated, "Point of order. I signed in like you year. He said the work was very coordinated asked." Mayor Fuhrer replied, "You signed, and tents went up and then came down with but did not write down a topic." Charles many volunteering to help. Chief Lynn Freer said the Fall Festival went off smoothly and with no problems. He noted there were a couple issues dealt with off the square. Mayor Jim Fuhrer said he apologizes for the music at the Beer Tent continuing until 1 am. He had given permission for the music, failing to remember the music was to end at 11 pm. In Other Business- The lift station near the police station had $2,100 in repairs as a result of someone crashing into the building. The city will recover the cost of repairs. City police officers received new vests. The cost was paid for in part from a grant. The materials in the vests degrade over time and have to be replaced periodically for the safety of the officers. replied, "That is not required, you might, better, ask your attorney; that is not required. ! I actually have a few topics." . City Attorney Tom Van Hook said he was reading from the rules, "the statement of topic for comment is required. These are the r rules set by the city. " Charlie replied, "You  are not reading the rules of the open meet- ing act are you." Attorney Van Hook said, "These are the rules for public comment." Charlie repeated, "City rules cannot trump the open meeting act. You know that. I do not have to write down a topic." Pete Howe then made a motion to adjourn. Charlie stated, "You are really going to do this. You are really going to play these games aren't you. OK, that's cool." Sue Stewart seconded Pete's motion and the council voted to adjourn. Charlie then com- mented, "You're going to jail, all of you." By Mike Lakin Effective January 1, 2011, Public Act 096-1473, passed by the Illinois Legisla- ture ahd signed into law by the governor states, "Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body." The City of Mr. Pulaski passed the foUowing to meet Public Act 096-1473... : "SPEAKER GUIDELINES: Prior to the start of a public meeting the Mayor and/or City Clerk reserves the right to require that all persons wishing to be heard to sign in with the City Clerk, or other personnel authorized by the Mayor. Full name and the topic to be commented on are required. Any person who fails to sign in shall not be permitted to speak. Observers in attendance are required to provide fizll names only. Comments are limited to three (3) minutes. No speaker may donate his/her time to another speaker. The Mayor reserves the right to make an exception to the rule if deemed nec- essary." Charles Friend took issue with the state- ment - "Full name and the topic to be com- mented on are required." Charles challenge is that it is not a requirement that a topic be written down. Public Act 096-1473 In searching for information about how Illinois governments comply with Public Act 096-1473 the following was found... Basic Rules should set forth matters such as the total amount of time that will be devoted to public comments at a meeting, the amount of time that will be allotted to each person wishing to speak, and what a person must do to exercise the opportunity to comment (such as a sign-up sheet or even pre-registration). Basic Rules should create a specific pro- cess for addressing public officials in writing. Having this "in-writing" process will ensure the opportum'ty to "communicate directly" with public officials. The in-writing process is a reasonable alternative for the public when the Basic Rules for public comments at a meeting set limits on time and topics. At a minimum, the in-writing process in the Basic Rules should advise the public of the right to make such written comments, how to make such comments (such as by letter or email), and where or to whom such com- ments should be addressed. From this information, a search was made as to requiring a person to write down a topic before a person can comment at a public meeting. This search involved reading ordinances passed by city councils, townships, and school boards to meet Public Act 096-1473. After 3-hours and reading through 77 ordinances already enacted, the only ordi- nance I could find that requires a topic to be written down is the Mt. Pulaski City Council ordinance.