Wauconda Township officials are having trouble understanding the basics of the laws governing public bodies and townships.
First, the purpose of the Open Meetings Act is to ensure that our elected officials discuss the business of our governments in open forum. According to “20% pay hike for Wauconda Twp. supervisor draws fire” on Aug. 2, the township supervisor met separately with each trustee to discuss the supervisor position’s pay hike. This resulted in a vote without discussion at the board’s last meeting.
Ostensibly, the supervisor met with trustees one at a time to discuss the pay increase so that the trustees dispensed with open discussion on the issue, deliberately thwarting the Open Meetings Act.
Secondly, Wauconda Township fails to understand the citizen initiative and referendum process as articulated in our state constitution at Article 7, Section 11, and further detailed in the Township Code.
Recently, a citizen in the township submitted a petition for referendum for inclusion on the Annual Township Meeting agenda. The citizen got the requisite 15 signatures and met the deadline. Yet, contrary to the Township Code, they failed to include the item on the agenda.
The citizen was forced to collect a second petition and garner assistance from our law office to convey to the township its obligation, a matter still pending before the township.
Not only do Wauconda Township officials misunderstand the law, they misunderstand their obligations. Rather than serving the residents of Wauconda Township, they serve themselves first.
Citizen Advocacy Center