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LostnIL

Newly elected Village Trustee needs help.

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Hello,

I am glad to have found this forum. I am a newly elected councilman in a small Illinois town. I am new to politics and parliamentary procedure. I have a question about new business and getting topics on the official agenda. I am having issues getting topics on our agenda. The city administrator continuously tells me to discuss it during "miscellaneous" business, but one of the topics is in reference to transparency and I want it listed as an agenda item that is posted publicly. 

How would a lowly Village Trustee (there is 6 of us) get something on an agenda? I have studied RO,  but I am still unsure how I would introduce new business so that it appears on an agenda?

I am roughly 6 months into my 4 year term. 

Thanks in advance,

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8 hours ago, LostnIL said:

How would a lowly Village Trustee (there is 6 of us) get something on an agenda?

Since your town council is probably considered a public body under state law, your procedures are going to be covered, at least to some extent, by state law and by your own local ordinances and rules and by your municipal charter if you have one.

Knowing how these things work, I suspect your council either has written rules of some sort governing this procedure or it is operating pursuant to long established custom.  Have you asked your council chairman, city clerk, or city attorney for a copy of all of the procedural rules governing the way your council conducts business?  It has been my experience that the procedures for getting items on the agenda of a public body are almost always covered by written laws or rules which they are obligated to follow. Those rules will  trump the rules in RONR.

Edited to add: Although I didn’t mention it specifically, your council  is probably bound by your state’s  sunshine laws ( open meetings laws) Which require a certain amount of public notice, usually at least 24 hours, of items on the agenda for a public meeting. This can create problems with adding items to the agenda at the meeting itself. The open meetings law of my own state requires a unanimous vote of the council to add an item to the agenda at the meeting.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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57 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Since your town council is probably considered a public body under state law, your procedures are going to be covered, at least to some extent, by state law and by your own local ordinances and rules and by your municipal charter if you have one.

Knowing how these things work, I suspect your council either has written rules of some sort governing this procedure or it is operating pursuant to long established custom.  Have you asked your council chairman, city clerk, or city attorney for a copy of all of the procedural rules governing the way your council conducts business?  It has been my experience that the procedures for getting items on the agenda of a public body are almost always covered by written laws or rules which they are obligated to follow. Those rules will  trump the rules in RONR.

Edited to add: Although I didn’t mention it specifically, your council  is probably bound by your state’s  sunshine laws ( open meetings laws) Which require a certain amount of public notice, usually at least 24 hours, of items on the agenda for a public meeting. This can create problems with adding items to the agenda at the meeting itself. The open meetings law of my own state requires a unanimous vote of the council to add an item to the agenda at the meeting.

Mr. Brown,
Yes, I am restricted by Illinois Open Meetings Act which requires 48 hour notice. However, the wording of the act itself, Sec. 2.02., seems to allow items to be added during the meetings. 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=84&ChapterID=2

"An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where the meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting. A public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall also post on its website the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body of that public body. Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body's website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded. The requirement of a regular meeting agenda shall not preclude the consideration of items not specifically set forth in the agenda."

I had not previously asked the Mayor or Clerk if there was any written procedural rules, I will do so today. Barring any restriction from Illinois's OMA and any bylaws the Village may have it sounds like FAQ #14 is precisely what I am looking for. 

I would simply make a motion "I move that we record every public meeting" and then I would require a second and an up or down vote on the motion. 

A little background, we currently only record 1 meeting, the Board meeting and the departmental/committee meetings aren't. For transparency I want them all recorded. 

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20 minutes ago, LostnIL said:

Just ordered it on Amazon. Thank you!

A good friend of ours offered this advice to one poster -

"I expect I'm not alone in suggesting emphatically that you first get your RONR - In Brief, without delay, and read it at once.  I keep saying, if you go to a store to buy it, read it standing there.  Maybe move away from in front of the cashier, to allow the other customers to buy their copies.  It should take you an hour or so, unless you're a college graduate -- they can take all day, tomorrow also if they have to tie their shoelaces themselves.  If you're on a lunch break, you'll just have to get back a little late.  If people are depending on you to feed them -- relax, they won't starve.  If you're there by car, give your keys to that cashier, who will be allowed to return them to you when you're finished.  If you have ordered it by mail, don't take the time to get a box-cutter to open the carton:  just have at it with your fangs and claws -- you're going to chair an AGM, so you need the practice anyway."

Timeless.  :) 

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1 hour ago, LostnIL said:

am restricted by Illinois Open Meetings Act which requires 48 hour notice. However, the wording of the act itself, Sec. 2.02., seems to allow items to be added during the meetings. 

So there is a hierarchy of rules. You say that the Illinois Act "seems to allow items to be added during the meetings." But your municipal code/rules may have a further restriction that may limit you in this way.

And below both of them is your parliamentary authority, presumably RONR. So while I agree with the suggestions to read RONR-In Brief, know that many of the specifics may be superseded by state and municipal law/rule.

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