Iroquois board denying people their rights, group attests
Iroquois County is taking away one of the most basic rights of American citizens, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) charged on its Illinois Leaks website recently.
The ECW accused the county of barring free speech at its board meetings, refusing at its discretion to let anyone in attendance speak on the same subject more than once in a two-month period and rejecting the notion that public comment time can be used to ask questions of the board.
The ECW specifically objected to the board's policy referring to public comments as a "privilege."
"When we allow our public officials to take the position they are providing us a privilege to address them, we have lost our country," the group said.
The watchdogs contend that any restrictions on the number of times someone may speak to the government violates that person's First Amendment rights.
The watchdog group also said the Open Meetings Act allows the public to comment or ask questions at any time.
"At each regular and special meeting which is open to the public, members of the public and employees of the county shall be afforded time, subject to reasonable constraints, to comment to or ask questions of the board," the ECW quoted the act as reading.
The group asked that the county board and the state's attorney review the matter.
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