Public Locked Out of Meeting Between Crystal Lake and Park Board Officials

When I asked the Crystal Lake City Manager’s office where the 6:30 meeting was going to be held last night, I was told that it would be in the little room to the right of the city council chambers.

When I asked Crystal Lake Park District Director Kirk Reimer who was attending the 6:30 meeting, he told me that Board President Mike Zellman and he would be there

I guess that explains why the Crystal Lake Park District web site didn’t mention the meeting.

Looking on the Crystal Lake city web site, I found no public notice of meeting either.

So I assume that the park district officials did not meet with a majority of city council, because it would have been illegal not to give public notice.

Even so, Zellman met with someone at the city, presumably Mayor Aaron Shepley and at least the city manager.

Former State Rep. Rosemary Kurtz, citizen George Boulet and I stood outside the locked doors to city hall from 6:30 until they were opened shortly before the announced 7:30 city council meeting.

So, what did Zellman and Shepley discuss?

I’m told it was about the park district’s concerns with the city’s attempt to allow McHenry County College cover 50% of its property with impervious roofs and parking lots.

If you see any of the folks who were probably there, ask them what they were deciding behind closed doors.

And, if you see Mayor Shepley, you might remind him of what he said during his “Mayor’s Report” when lake front citizens pushed the council to take action to institute a no wake policy to ease erosion and prevent damage to boats and piers:

“The whole purpose of the Open Meetings Act is to prevent public bodies from doing things out of the public eye.”

Of course, Shepley would point out that since neither a majority of the city council nor a majority of the park board were in the meeting that the Open Meetings Act was not violated.

I will grant him that, but, considering the secrecy of both the city and McHenry County College on a baseball stadium that has been in the works for over two years, something is certainly needed “to prevent public bodies from doing things out of the public eye.”

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The pictures show Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley turning around after coming to the threshold of the Crystal Lake City Council Chambers and, then, returning for the meeting.

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