Toledo board puts illegal limits on public comments, group alleges
Area residents who want to speak up at Toledo Village Board meetings can now do so -- as long as they don't expect answers, keep their comments brief and don't question the board or its president, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) contend.
ECW co-founder Kirk Allen argues on the group's Illinois Leaks website that such restrictions are against the law.
"Although we were pleased to see they are 'now' going to allow the public to speak, they have placed restrictions that we believe are inconsistent with our Constitutional rights as well as the Open Meetings act," Allen wrote on the ECW's Illinois Leaks website.
The policy adopted by the board includes the statement: "Persons addressing the Board of Trustees should not expect an answer at the conclusion of a person’s comments, nor shall they be allowed to question the President or the Board of Trustees," according to the ECW.
According to the ECW, citizens are limited to five minutes for comments and must sign up no later than five minutes before the meeting commences. If a citizen needs more than five minutes, approval requires a majority vote of the board plus the president's affirmation. If the president votes does not approve, the five-minute time limit is enforced, even if a majority of the board wants to hear the citizen's comments or concerns.