As I wrote before, on Wednesday I was in the building where the County Board has its new digs, which are quite impressive and well designed.
That day while I was out raking leaves, I got this phone message:
Chairman Koehler requested I call you back to let you know at this time he cannot grant permission to take pictures as the county board members he polled have stated they would feel uncomfortable and that it would be a distraction to them during their meetings.I called back and asked if it could be put in writing.
He said he will let you know for future meetings.
On Friday when I was shoveling my driveway, I got this letter, dated November 29 and mailed teh 30th, 2006:
Dear Mr. Skinner,Assistant Attorney General Scott Sievers, who is Assistant Public Access Counselor, pointed me to Section 2.05 of the Open Meetings Act (click on image to enlarge the print.):
This letter is in response to your request to take pictures at the County Board Meetings beginning December 4, 2006. After discussions with several County Board Members, it was decided to deny this request at this time. Several individuals have indicated they would appreciate pictures not be taken as they felt this would cause a distraction and they would therefore be uncomfortable granting this request.
Discussions regarding this request will continue with a possible approval in the future.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Kenneth D. Koehler, Chairman
McHenry County Board.
…any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open by this Act by tape, film, or other means.The letter and state law seem to disagree.
Monday's meeting at 9 AM, by the way, is the meeting when the newly elected or re-elcted county board members will be sworn in at the building north of the jail.