Open Meetings Act
It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business and to ensure that the actions of public bodies be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly. It further declares that its citizens shall be given advance notice of and the right to attend all meetings at which any business of a public body is discussed or acted upon in any way. (5 ILCS 120/1)
All meetings of public bodies shall be open to the public unless closed for specific reasons set forth under the law. They include:
- The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body.
- The selection of a person to fill a public office, including a vacancy in a public office.
- The purchase or lease of real property.
- Setting the price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body.
- Student disciplinary cases.
- Probable or imminent litigation.
No final action may be taken at a closed meeting. Final action must be taken in open session. (5 ILCS 120/2) Only topics specified in the vote to close under this Section may be considered during the closed meeting. (5 ILCS 120/2a)
An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting. (5 ILCS 120/2.02)
Minutes of Meetings
All public bodies shall keep written minutes of all their meetings, whether open or closed, and a verbatim record of all their closed meetings in the form of an audio or video recording. (5 ILCS 120/2.06)
Any person who believes that the Open Meetings Act is not complied with in Vermilion County may bring a civil action in the Circuit Court of Vermilion County within 60 days of the meeting alleged to be in violation of this Act.
The Vermilion County State’s Attorney may also bring an action as set forth above on behalf of the people of Vermilion County. The time restraint for the State’s Attorney is not limited to 60 days after the meeting alleged to be in violation of this act.
Reporting of Noncompliance
The Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office requires a request to review an alleged Open Meetings Act violation to be in writing, signed and delivered to the Office of State’s Attorney. The request for review shall include the name of the public body, the date of the meeting, and the alleged topic in violation. The person alleging non-compliance shall include his/her name, address, telephone number and e-mail address, if applicable so that follow-up questions may be asked or, when the review is completed, a finding as to the alleged violation.
Please use the OMA Request for Review Form when filing a Request for Review.
As State’s Attorney, I am committed to ensuring that the residents of Vermilion County are informed as to actions taken by their local government and are allowed to participate if they so choose. To that extent, we investigate each alleged violation very seriously and in a timely manner. Our goal is to ensure compliance with the Open Meetings Act by all governmental agencies with Vermilion County.