Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter

Disclaimer

Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Friday, December 29, 2017

Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to County's Short Term Rental Ban


As short term rentals become more popular, local governments have had to rethink their current residential use restrictions to address this new use. Many local governments have relied on their "exclusionary" zoning ordinances that permit only those uses expressly listed in the zoning district as permitted or special/conditional uses to prohibit short term rentals. Others have adopted amendments to their zoning ordinances to expressly restrict and/or regulate short term rentals. Morgan County's application of its zoning regulations to a short term rental was recently the subject of a legal challenge in May v. Morgan County, (11th Cir. Dec. 21, 2017), which upheld the county's ban on short term rentals in single family dwellings.

In 2010, the county enacted a ban of short term rentals in single family homes, defined as any rental for less than 30 consecutive days. In 2011, the county cited May, the owner of a lakefront single family home for violating that ordinance. She subsequently filed a civil rights lawsuit, arguing that her short term rental use was "grandfathered" under the zoning ordinance since she had started renting her home in 2008, 2 years prior to the county's ban on these rentals. Her first lawsuit (filed in state court) was dismissed because she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by seeking zoning relief and that her challenge to the short-term rental ban was time-barred because she didn't bring her lawsuit within 30 days of adoption of the ban.

After her first case was dismissed, she filed a rezoning application with the county and a request that the county revoke the ban on short term rentals. After both applications were denied, she filed a second lawsuit, this time in federal court, arguing she had a grandfathered right to rent out her home and that the county violated her "grandfathered constitutional rights," which she claimed were protected civil rights. 

The case made its way to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which dismissed her claims based on the "Rooker-Feldman" doctrine which states that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to review state court decisions. Here, the state court had already decided her claims against enforcement of the county's short-term rental ban and she could not attempt to relitigate those claims in federal court. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Changes to the Juvenile Court Act



Public bodies should be aware of new changes to the Juvenile Court Act that make some sweeping changes that will affect police departments and employers.  Public Act 100-0285

First, the Act greatly broadens privacy protections for juvenile records, amending Section 1-7 to treat records of municipal ordinance violations as confidential records. This means that municipal ordinance violation records must now be treated with the same sensitivity which applies to criminal arrest records.  The statute further designates juvenile records as “sealed,” meaning they can never be disclosed to the general public or made available unless they meet specific narrow exceptions under the Act or by juvenile court order.  The statute provides that a anyone who violates the confidentiality protections is subject to a Class C misdemeanor, a fine of $1,000, and liability to the minor for damages of $1,000, or actual damages, whichever is greater.

The statute also requires the automatic expungement of certain law enforcement records relating to events occurring before an individual's 18th birthday on or before January 1 of each year, if: 
  1. one year has elapsed since the date of arrest or law enforcement interaction, 
  2. no petition for delinquency or criminal charges was filed, and 
  3. 6 months have elapsed without any subsequent arrest or petition for delinquency or criminal charges.  

The law enforcement agency must also send notice of the expungement within 60 days after doing so. Again, a willful violation of the expungement requirements is now a Class 4 felony and the person intentionally disseminating the record can be personally liable to the juvenile for damages.

The Act has also been amended to prevent the accidental dissemination of confidential juvenile law enforcement record information in employment applications.  Section 5-915(b)(4)(b) provides:

(b) Except with respect to authorized military personnel, an expunged juvenile record may not be considered by any private or public entity in employment matters, certification, licensing, revocation of certification or licensure, or registration. Applications for employment within the State must contain specific language that states that the applicant is not obligated to disclose expunged juvenile records of adjudication or arrest. Employers may not ask, in any format or context, if an applicant has had a juvenile record expunged. Information about an expunged record obtained by a potential employer, even inadvertently, from an employment application that does not contain specific language that states that the applicant is not obligated to disclose expunged juvenile records of adjudication or arrest, shall be treated as dissemination of an expunged record by the employer.


This section is of particular importance to employers as it creates criminal and civil liability for disseminating confidential juvenile records, even if the dissemination is inadvertent.  Employers may want to include a disclaimer on job applications stating that applicants are not required to disclose expunged juvenile records.  The Act also provides that employers may not ask if a job application has had a juvenile record expunged.

Post Authored by Erin Pell, Ancel Glink

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Purpose of FOIA Request Not Basis for Denial


The PAC just issued its 14th opinion for 2017, finding a public body in violation of FOIA. PAC Op. 17-014

A local reporter had filed a FOIA request with a county seeking copies of all FOIA requests filed with the county in the past 8 weeks. The county denied the request on the basis that the request did not meet the purpose and intent of FOIA. The requester appealed to the PAC. In its defense, the county argued that the requester was attempting to use FOIA to obtain information about her fellow citizens and neighbors, and that FOIA was not intended to provide citizens with information about other citizens seeking access to government information.

The PAC disagreed with the county's argument, finding no provision in FOIA that allows a public body to deny a request based on what it believes the underlying purpose of the request to be. As a result, the county was ordered to provide copies of the FOIA requests with only those redactions authorized by express FOIA exemptions.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Court Protects Cows in Nuisance Case


The Village of Chadwick is a small community that does not have a zoning or land use ordinance. Instead, the Village relies on its "nuisance" authority to regulate land uses. In July of 2016, the Village adopted an ordinance making it illegal for anyone to keep live cattle, horses, swine, pigs, sheep, goats, and various other farm animals on property in the Village limits. Shortly after adopting the ordinance, the Village issued a citation against the Nelsons for keeping cattle on their property. The circuit court upheld the citation, and the Nelsons appealed.

The Nelsons argued that the Village was preempted from enforcing the nuisance ordinance against them under the Farm Nuisance Act. That statute protects farm owners from nuisance suits after a farm has been in operation for a year. The Nelsons claimed that their property had been used for farm operations for over a year when the nuisance ordinance was adopted. As a result, the Nelsons argued that the Village could not enforce its nuisance ordinance against their property. The Village argued that the Nelsons' cattle operation had only been in operation for four months, so the nuisance ordinance was not preempted by the Act. 

The appellate court reversed the conviction on the basis that the Nelsons had been operating a farm on the property for more than a year. Although the cattle operation had only been ongoing for a few months, the Nelsons had been engaging in other farm activities prior to the cattle operations, including cutting and baling hay. As a result, the Act protected the Nelsons' farm operations, and the Village was precluded from enforcing its nuisance ordinance.  Village of Chadwick v. Nelson, 2017 IL App (2d) 170064.

Post authored by Julie Tappendorf

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Court Rejects Challenges to City's Food Truck Ordinance


In 2012, the City of Chicago passed an ordinance expanding food truck operations within the City. That ordinance allowed trucks to prepare food on-site (rather than in a commercial kitchen) and established various location, operation, and inspection regulations. The ordinance also authorized the City to establish fixed stands where parking space for food trucks would be reserved. Outside of these "fixed stands," the ordinance allows food trucks to park in street parking for up to 2 hours, but prohibits trucks from parking within 200 feet of any restaurant. Finally, the ordinance requires food trucks to have a permanently installed and functioning GPS device.

Shortly after the ordinance was approved, LMP (the plaintiff) filed a lawsuit challenging two provisions of the food truck ordinance: (1) the 200 foot distance requirement from restaurants and (2) the GPS requirement. LMP claimed the first requirement violated due process and equal protection and the second violated the search, seizure and privacy protections of the Illinois constitution.

The trial court ruled in favor of the City, and LMP appealed. 

With respect to LMP's argument that the distance requirement violated due process, the court first determined that the right to pursue a profession (in this case, operate a food truck) is not a fundamental right for substantive due process. As a result, the City only had to show a rational basis for the restriction. The court concluded that the City satisfied that standard in showing that the restriction was intended to strike a balance between fixed restaurants (which pay real estate taxes and other fees to the City) and food trucks. The court also noted that there is no constitutional right to conduct business from the city street or sidewalk.

The court also rejected LMP's argument that the GPS requirement violated the state constitution, finding no seizure or search where the City did not physically enter the food truck to place the device so the cases involving government installation of a GPS device were not applicable. 


Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Annexation Dispute Between Villages Decided


Palos Park and Lemont have been involved in an annexation dispute for the past couple of years. Recently, the appellate court ruled in favor of Palos Park, upholding that community's annexation of three private golf courses and other land comprising about 1,500 acres lying between the two communities. In re Petition to Annex, 2017 IL App (1st) 170941.

In 2015, voluntary annexation petitions were filed by the golf courses and owners of other land to annex their properties to Palos Park. While those petitions were pending, on December 14, 2015, Palos Park annexed certain forest preserve property that would create the necessary contiguity to annex the golf courses. Just a few days earlier, residential owners filed a forcible annexation petition with the circuit court to annex their properties, consisting of about 117 acres, to Lemont. According to the court ruling, the purpose of the forcible annexation proceeding was to thwart contiguity for the Palos Park annexations.  

While the forcible annexation proceeding was still ongoing, Palos Park adopted annexation ordinances to annex the golf courses and other land. Palos Park argued that  its annexations have priority over the forcible annexation proceeding involving Lemont. 

The appellate court examined the two annexation proceedings (Palos Park's voluntary process and Lemont's forcible proceeding) to determine which had priority. Lemont argued that the Palos Park process had been "abandoned" because of the time lapse between the filing of the annexation petitions by the owners and the action by Palos Park in approving annexation ordinances. The court rejected that argument, finding that the  parties to the voluntary annexation process had proceeded in a "sustained and consistent action to advance the 2015 voluntary petitions." 

The court also rejected the argument that prompt action by the corporate authorities after the filing of an annexation petition is required, finding that the law only requires "some action" by the corporate authorities or evidence showing why action was delayed. Here, Palos Park's process included an extended negotiation of the terms of an annexation agreement, discussions about water and sewer service, and various other meetings and discussions between the parties, including the annexation of the forest preserve property that established contiguity.  In sum, the court found that Palos Park's voluntary annexation process had not been abandoned, and as a result, it had priority over Lemont's forcible annexation process.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


Monday, December 18, 2017

Requester Not Entitled To Criminal Assault Records



In McGee v. Kelley, a FOIA requester, who had previously been indicted and convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault, sought documents related to his indictment. The sheriff’s office denied the request under Sections 7(1)(d)(i), (iii), and (iv) as the case was still under appeal and considered an open investigation. The sheriff argued that the records were still exempt because the requester made the same request in 2010, at which time it was denied and reviewed by the PAC based on: 1) the requester had received redacted records in 2009 and never challenged the redactions; 2) the records were exempt from release under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 412(j)(ii), which provides that criminal defendants are not to receive the names of the people providing information against them; 3) the disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of the victim’s privacy as the reports detailed a sexual assault, and 4) certain redacted portions disclosed specialized investigative techniques.


The requester then filed a complaint in circuit court against the sheriff. The circuit court conducted an in camera examination of the requested records and found in favor of the sheriff’s office. The court found that none of the records were releasable under FOIA, the requester’s prior similar requests collaterally estopped him from proceeding with the case, and the documents were exempt under 7(1)(a) and 7(1)(b).



The requester appealed to the appellate court which also ruled in favor of the sheriff’s office.  The appellate court found that the public did not have any interest in the actual details of the assault, whereas the degree of invasion of personal privacy to the victim was substantial.  Further, the court found no evidence that the police reports had previously been made public.

Post Authored by Erin Pell, Ancel Glink

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Amendment to Indiana Teacher Tenure Law Violates Contract Rights


The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently struck down an Indiana law that amended the state's teacher tenure law. Elliott v. Board of School Trustees of Madison Consolidated Schools (7th Cir. Dec. 4, 2017).

In 2012, the Indiana legislature amended its teacher tenure law to eliminate a right of tenured teachers to be retained over non-tenured teachers and to require school districts to base layoffs on performance reviews rather than tenure. In reliance on the new law, the Madison School Board laid off Elliot, a teacher who had earned tenure 14 years before the new law took effect. Elliot sued, claiming the new law violated the Contracts Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it affected his contractual rights to tenure under Indiana's teacher tenure law adopted in 1927.

The Seventh Circuit first determined that Indiana's teacher tenure law created certain enforceable contractual rights. Those contractual rights, the court determined, were "substantially impaired" by the 2012 law because it had retroactive affect on teachers who were tenured prior to its enactment. In finding the retroactive impairment to be a violation of contractual rights, the court held that the "impairment is substantial, the contract is an express commitment between the State and the teachers, and the State's self-interest is at state." 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CPD Officer Faces Discharge for Social Media Posts



How bad must off-duty social media behavior be in order for a public employer to justify discharging an employee for their posts? In true lawyer fashion, the answer is probably “it depends”. It depends on the position that the employee holds within the organization and the content of the postings on social media.

Since officers hold a special position of trust in society, police departments rightfully require that their conduct fosters that trust and models law-abiding, respectful behavior. That’s why the Chicago Police Department has moved to discharge a 25 year veteran officer for his off duty social media posts. There is no doubt that policing, especially in urban areas like Chicago, can be challenging and officers can develop jaded views of society, but when an employee takes to social media to disparage groups it can lead to trouble on the job.

The CPD officer facing discharge allegedly posted racist and insensitive remarks on Facebook, including a cartoon of a boy urinating on the word Allah, referring on Facebook to black children as “wild African kids” and displaying a bumper sticker on his vehicle depicting a car driving into a group of protesters with the words “all lives splatter,” to name a few. The officer has also been the subject of 57 citizen complaints of unfair or insensitive treatment.

CPD has a social media policy which includes a prohibition of statements, both on and off duty that vilifies a group based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics. The policy is designed to protect against activity which may interfere with an officer’s ability to discharge their duties in a fair and impartial manner and might diminish the reputation of the department in the community. The results of an investigation of this officer’s postings and actions found 62 separate incidents of social media and vehicle postings which violated the policy.

The officer claims that discharging him for his off-duty conduct and statements violates his First Amendment rights to free speech. As we know, this can be a tricky analysis of balancing an individual’s rights to speech and an employer’s rights to maintain order in its operation.

What CPD has done right is to issue a policy which prohibits social media activity which disparages or defames groups of citizens based on protected characteristics.  The number of separate postings and statements, coupled with the large number of citizen complaints tends to show disruption of the department’s operation due to statements by the officer attacking groups based on those protected characteristics which diminishes or destroys the employee’s First Amendment protections.

Public employers should always conduct a two part analysis before disciplining an employee for off duty social media statements. A sound policy must be in place, coupled with actual evidence that the employee’s statements caused disruption or inefficiencies to the employer’s operations. While private employers do not face First Amendment challenges, in a union setting, the same analysis will show “just cause” to discipline.

Post originally authored by Margaret Kostopulos, Ancel Glink 
 

Monday, December 11, 2017

City's Administrative Hearing Practice Upheld


Stone Street Partners (SSP) sued the City of Chicago more than 5 years ago to challenge certain practices of the City's Department of Administrative Hearings relating to citations for ordinance violations. SSP was successful in overturning certain citations earlier this year, but the remaining claims continued. Recently, the Illinois appellate court upheld the City's citations against SSP and its administrative hearing process. Stone Street Partners v. City of Chicago, 2017 IL App (1st) 133159. 

Chicago had cited SSP for violating a City ordinance that prohibited overflowing refuse containers. After being found in violation at an administrative hearing and fined for the violation, SSP challenged the entire proceeding in court, claiming that the City was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law because no attorney appeared for the City at the hearing. SSP also claimed that its due process rights were violated. The trial court dismissed most of the claims, and SSP appealed.

On appeal, the appellate court first determined that the City administrative law judge was not engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by overseeing the City's administrative hearings. The court also rejected SSP's argument that SSP's due process rights were violated because the administrative law judge allegedly served as the judge and prosecutor, finding that there was no evidence that the judge was predisposed against SSP. Finally, the court ruled against SSP on its argument that the City's practice of imposing the minimum fine for "plea bargains" but a higher fine for those who chose to move forward with the hearing amounted to a "trial tax." 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Civil Rights Claims Related to Tax Matter Not Proper in Federal Court


Today's case started with a dog bite. A dog bit a township employee on the Cosgriff property. After the employee and the township sued the Cosgriffs, the Cosgriffs started a petition campaign encouraging taxpayers to notify the township that its employees should not trespass on private property. When the township's next property assessment for the Cosgriff property was significantly higher than their last, the Cosgriffs appealed the increased assessment to the county appeals board. The Cosgriff assessment was 47.14%, the highest increase in the township that year. The county appeals board ruled in favor of the Cosgriffs and substantially reduced the new assessment.

Subsequently, the Cosgriffs filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court against the county and numerous individual defendants. In the lawsuit, the Cosgriffs claimed that the defendants acted unconstitutionally when they increased the Cosgriffs’ property assessment. Specifically, the Cosgriffs claimed the assessment increase was retaliation against the Cosgriffs for speaking out against township employees trespassing on private property. The district court dismissed the case, and the Cosgriffs appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The Seventh Circuit upheld the dismissal, holding that state taxpayers are barred from bringing 1983 claims in federal court. The court rejected the Cosgriffs' argument that they were not challenging the tax, but instead were challenging the defendants' unconstitutional actions against them. That, the court said, was a "distinction without a difference" because if the defendants had acted unconstitutionally, it was only because they increased the Cosgriffs' tax burden through the higher assessment. Because their claims related to taxation, they were precluded from being heard in federal court. The court noted that the Cosgriffs had state law remedies available to them and, in fact, took advantage of those remedies when they appealed their assessment increase to the county appeals board. Cosgriff v. County of Winnebago.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

7th Circuit Finds Online Travel Agencies Are Not Subject to Certain Municipal Hotel Taxes



The Seventh Circuit recently issued a decision finding that online travel agencies (Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, and Orbitz) are not subject to municipal hotel taxes. 

In Village of Bedford Park v. Expedia, Inc.,et al, thirteen Illinois municipalities filed a class action claiming that these online travel agencies (Agencies) were failing to remit taxes on the full price that customers pay to rent a hotel room. The Agencies enter into contractual arrangements with hotels that allow the Agencies to market hotel rooms and directly book reservations through their websites. The hotel sets a wholesale rental price for the room, and the Agency charges the customer a price that includes the hotel rental price, the estimated taxes owed to the municipality, and additional charges for the Agency’s services.

However, the Agencies had only been remitting taxes to the municipalities based on the wholesale rental price set by the hotels, not the full price paid by customers to the Agencies. The court gave the example of a hotel that sets a wholesale rental price for rooms reserved through an Agency at $60, and the total price charged by the Agency to the customer (including the fees for the Agency’s services) is $100. The Agency only pays taxes on the $60 rental rate, instead of the full $100 that is charged to the customer. The municipalities argued that the Agencies needed to remit taxes based on the full $100 amount.

The Seventh Circuit considered two main categories of municipal hotel taxes: (1) those that impose a room rental tax on owners, operators, and managers of hotels; and (2) those that impose a tax on persons engaged in the business of renting, leasing, or letting hotel rooms based on a percentage of gross rental receipts. 

First, the Seventh Circuit considered whether the Agencies were owners, operators, or managers of hotels, and therefore subject to the first category of municipal hotel taxes.  The Court found that the Agencies clearly are not owners of the hotels, nor are they owners of the hotel rooms themselves.  The Court also found that the Agencies are not hotel managers because they do not supervise the affairs of a hotel. The Court did note that the Agencies are engaged in one hotel function, the making of hotel reservations. However, the Court held that simply engaging in one aspect of running a hotel does not transform the Agencies into hotel operators. Therefore, the Court found that the Agencies are not hotel owners, operators, or managers subject to the first category of municipal hotel taxes.

Next, the Court considered whether the Agencies are subject to taxes imposed on persons engaged in the business of renting hotel rooms. The Court noted that renting implies ownership and the ability to grant possession of property. Since the Agencies do not own hotels or hotel rooms, they cannot independently grant consumers access to hotel rooms. Because the Agencies lack the ability to grant access to hotel rooms, they necessarily lack the power to rent hotel rooms. Accordingly, the Court held that the Agencies are not engaged in the business of renting hotel rooms, and are not subject to the second category of municipal hotel taxes.


This opinion is interesting because a very similar issue was previously addressed in the case of City of Chicago v. Expedia, et al, 2017 IL App (1st) 153402, which we reported on in May of 2017.  In that case, an Illinois Appellate Court found that the Agencies were not subject to the City of Chicago’s hotel tax on substantially similar grounds. However, that opinion was subsequently withdrawn by the appellate court after the City of Chicago and the Agencies reached a multi-million dollar settlement. The City of Chicago subsequently amended its hotel tax to clarify that it applies to the Agencies as well as hotels.

Post Authored by Kurt Asprooth, Ancel Glink

Monday, December 4, 2017

Don't Forget FOIA/OMA Training Obligations


As many Illinois government officials know, both the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and the Illinois Open Meetings Act require certain government officials to comply with training requirements under FOIA and the OMA. The Illinois Attorney General has created electronic training programs to comply with these requirements, although the OMA does allow members of certain public bodies (school and park board members, for example) to take advantage of alternative training programs offered by member organizations, as discussed below in #3.  

It is important to understand each of the training requirements to make sure the appropriate officials or employees are completing the required training in accordance with the OMA and FOIA.

1.  FOIA Officer

Each public body must designate a FOIA officer. The designated FOIA officer must complete annual FOIA training. If a public body has designated multiple FOIA officers, they all must complete annual training. Any time a public body designates a new FOIA officer, that officer must complete the training within 30 days of designation. 5 ILCS 140/3.5(b). 

2.  OMA Officer

Each public body must also designate an OMA officer. The designated OMA officer must complete annual OMA training. If there are more than one designated OMA officer, they all must complete annual training. Any time a public body designates a new OMA officer, that officer must complete the training within 30 days of designation. 5 ILCS 120/1.05(a) 

3.  Members of Public Bodies

Each member of a public body (i.e., member of a City Council or Village Board, Library Board Trustee, etc.) must complete OMA training within 90 days of taking office. 5 ILCS 120/1.05(b). 

While members of most public bodies are required to complete the training program created by the Attorney General, members of certain public bodies are statutorily authorized to complete an alternative training program. For example, a member of a park district park can complete an OMA training  program offered by an organization that represents park districts. Similar provisions apply to members of a school board or drainage district board. For more information about these alternative training programs, consult section 1.05(c), (d), (e), and (f) of the OMA.

You can access each of the Attorney General training programs on the Attorney General's website here.  Make sure you sign up for the correct training program!

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Update on PAC Opinions Regarding Public Comment at Meetings


A little more than three years ago, we published a blog post summarizing some of the Public Access Counselor (PAC) opinions interpreting the public comment provision of the Open Meetings Act (section 2(g)). The post referenced an article published in the Illinois Municipal Review magazine (authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink), and was based on all of the opinions (binding and advisory) that had been issued to-date at that time. You can re-read the 2014 post here.  

The 2014 blog post provided a "top 10" list of the PAC opinions by category/topic, as follows:

1. Public comment must be provided at all meetings.
2. The public comment requirement applies to subsidiary bodies.
3. Each public body must adopt rules for public comment.
4. A public body can establish time limits for public comment.
5. A public body can limit comments to topics germane to the agenda of a special meeting.
6. A public body can establish and enforce rules on decorum.
7. Public comment can be provided at any point in the meeting.
8. Public officials are not obligated to respond to questions.
9. The public comment rule does not address conduct of members of the public body.
10. There is no violation of the OMA if there is no request to speak.

Recently, we filed a FOIA request with the PAC to obtain copies of all opinions issued since the IML article and blog post were published. We have read through these opinions, and offer a few additional guidelines/tips for complying with the public comment requirement.

In addition to the 10 compliance tips listed above, here are a few additional guidelines public bodies can take from more recent PAC opinions on public comment:

1. The PAC has no authority to weigh in on compliance with Roberts Rules of Order, public hearing procedures, or the conduct of public officials.
2. Allowing residents to speak first or restricting public comments to residents only is not allowed.
3. A public body cannot require a person to disclose his or her address in order to speak.
4. A public body cannot require a person to register 5 days in advance in order to speak.
5. Public comment does not have to be listed on the agenda.
6. A public body is not required to solicit public comments.
7. The public body must have a written rule in place to enforce any time limit on public comment.
8. Public body cannot satisfy public comment requirement through a practice of allowing individuals to meet with officials outside of a meeting.
9. Restricting the content of public comments to agenda items is no longer permitted (PAC changed course on an earlier opinion).
10. Limiting a person's ability to speak during public comment to once every 45 days is not allowed.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ohio Justice Criticized for Facebook Posts


An Ohio Supreme Court Justice has been criticized for recent Facebook posts defending "heterosexual males."  According to the ABA Journal, Justice Bill O'Neill posted the following on Facebook:
Now that the dogs of war are calling for the head of Senator Al Franken, I believe it is time to speak up on behalf of all heterosexual males. As a candidate for Governor, let me save my opponents some research time. In the last fifty years, I was sexually intimate with approximately 50 very attractive females. It ranged from a gorgeous blonde who was my first true love and we made passionate love in the hayloft of her parents barn and ended with a drop dead gorgeous red head from Cleveland. 
Now can we get back to discussing legalizing marijuana and opening the state hospital network to combat the opioid crisis. I am sooooo disappointed by this national frenzy about sexual indiscretions decades ago.
Peace. 
After receiving hundreds of comments, Justice O'Neill deleted the post and replaced it with a post that included the following: "Lighten up folks. This is how Democrats remain in the minority."  That post was then followed by two different apology posts.

This isn't the first time Justice O'Neill's Facebook activities have been reported on in the press. In August, he posted on Facebook that he "will  NEVER attend a sporting event where the draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on the field. Shame on you all." That post was also removed shortly thereafter.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Board Violated OMA By Discussing Member's Conduct in Closed Session


The PAC issued its 13th opinion in 2017 last week, finding a public body in violation of the Open Meetings Act. In PAC Op. 17-013, the local chapter of the NAACP filed a complaint with the PAC alleging that a Village Board improperly went into closed session to discuss a Board member's racists  comments made at a previous Board meeting. 

In reviewing the minutes of the meeting in question, the PAC noted that the Village Board had cited 2(c)(4) of the OMA as the basis for going into closed session. That exception allows a public body to go into closed session to discuss "[e]vidence or testimony presented in open hearing, or in closed hearing where specifically authorized by law" by quasi-adjudicative bodies. The PAC also reviewed the verbatim recording of the closed session, which consisted of discussions by the Board of a resolution relating to comments by one of its members.

The PAC concluded that the closed session did not fall under 2(c)(4) for several reasons. First, the Board did not consider evidence or testimony in closed session. Second, the Village Board's discussion of one of its members conduct was as a legislative body, not a quasi-adjudicative body. Third, the Village Board was not authorized by law to conduct a hearing on the allegations against one of its members, which were not a matter subject to any adjudicatory or quasi-adjudicatory process. In short, the PAC determined that 2(c)(4) did not authorize the Village Board to go into closed session to discuss the conduct of one of its members.

The PAC also discussed whether 2(c)(1) or 2(c)(3) would apply, although neither of these exemptions were cited by the Village Board in going into closed session. The PAC noted that Board members are not employees of the Village, so 2(c)(1) was not applicable. Further, the PAC stated that 2(c)(3) would not provide a basis for the closed session because a Village Board does not have the power to remove one of its members from office, in the PAC's opinion.

As a remedy, the PAC ordered the public body to release the verbatim recording of the closed session.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Monday, November 27, 2017

Pension Board's Denial of Pension Application Vacated Due to Bias



After a fire lieutenant with a fire protection district (District) was denied a disability pension by the Pension Board, she sued the Board claiming that she did not receive a fair hearing due to alleged bias by some members on the Board. The trial court upheld the Board’s decision to deny the pension application, but on appeal, that decision was reversed and the case was sent back with directions to hold a new hearing.  Naden v. The Firefighters’ Pension Fund of the Sugar Grove Fire Protection District, 2017 IL App. (2d) 160698 (November 17, 2017).

Naden had been employed by the District since 1996.  In 2014, she requested a medical leave of absence.  In her request, she noted several instances of sexual harassment.  The District initiated an investigation into the sexual harassment claims, but it never concluded. Naden did not return to work following her approved leave, and applied for pension benefits.  The Board denied her application, and determined she was not eligible to receive either a line-of-duty or a non-duty pension. 

On appeal, Naden argued she did not receive a fair hearing before the Pension Board because three of the five members of the Board were also the firefighters she accused of sexually harassing her during her employment. In addressing Naden’s allegations of bias on the part of the Board, the appellate court noted that “a personal interest or bias can be pecuniary or any other interest that may have an effect on the impartiality of the decisionmaker.” Because the District never concluded its investigation, the appellate court found  there was “something of a running controversy between the Plaintiff and the three members” and that where there is an actual incentive for bias, recusal is required. The appellate court concluded that because each of the three board members named by Naden had a material, direct, personal interest in denying her disability claim, their bias rendered the Board’s decision unsustainable. It vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case with instructions to the Board to hold a new hearing on Naden’s application for disability benefits. 

Post Authored by Jessi DeWalt, Ancel Glink

Monday, November 20, 2017

Local Governments Must Formally Adopt Sexual Harassment Policies


Last week, the Governor signed into law P.A. 100-0554. The new law requires local governments to take formal action to adopt sexual harassment policies. Within 60 days of the effective date of the new law, each unit of local government must adopt an ordinance or resolution establishing a policy to prohibit sexual harassment. 

The policy must include, at a minimum, the following provisions:

1. A prohibition on sexual harassment.
2. The procedure for reporting an allegation of sexual harassment.
3. A prohibition on retaliation for reporting an allegation of sexual harassment.
4. The consequences for violating the sexual harassment policy and for knowingly making a false report.

While most units of local government probably already have a sexual harassment policy in place, it is important that government entities review existing policies for compliance with the new statutory requirements and take formal action to adopt or ratify the sexual harassment policy by resolution or ordinance. According to the General Assembly's website, the law's effective date is November 16, 2017, meaning that local governments have until January 16, 2018 to adopt an ordinance or resolution approving a policy that complies with the new law.

The new law also contains a number of other regulations relating to sexual harassment, including training requirements for state officials and lobbyists, as well as other regulations. The language pertaining to the new policy requirements for local governments language is set out below:
No later than 60 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, each governmental unit shall adopt an ordinance or resolution establishing a policy to prohibit sexual harassment. The policy shall include, at a minimum: (i) a prohibition on sexual harassment; (ii) details on how an individual can report an allegation of sexual harassment, including options for making a confidential report to a supervisor, ethics officer, Inspector General, or the Department of Human Rights; (iii) a prohibition on retaliation for reporting sexual harassment allegations, including availability of whistleblower protections under this Act, the Whistleblower Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act; and (iv) the consequences of a violation of the prohibition on sexual harassment and the consequences for knowingly making a false report.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Monday, November 13, 2017

Reminder to Adopt Annual Schedule of Meetings


A quick reminder to public bodies in Illinois - every public body that is subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act must give public notice of its annual schedule of regular meetings at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year. Most public bodies tend to adopt the annual schedule of regular meetings for the following year in December, which is just one month away (can you believe it?!). The annual schedule must include the times and places of all regular meetings. 5 ILCS 120/2.03.

Section 2.03 applies to "each body subject to this Act." That means that subsidiary bodies, including committees of the board or council and other advisory boards and commissions, are subject to this requirement. The PAC office of the Illinois Attorney General has taken the position that if a public body does not adopt an annual schedule of regular meetings, then every meeting of that particular public body is considered a "special meeting," so the public body must follow the requirements for special meetings under the OMA.  

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Court Upholds Chicago's Public Nudity Ordinance


The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against a woman who sued the City of Chicago after she was cited for public nudity when she participated in GoTopless Day 2014. Tagami v. City of Chicago, (7th Cir. Nov. 8, 2017). 

Ms. Tagami participated in the 2014 event by walking around the streets of Chicago topless. She was cited for violating a Chicago ordinance that prohibits public nudity. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against Chicago, claiming that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it violated her free speech rights under the First Amendment and unlawfully discriminates against her on the basis of her gender. The district court had dismissed her lawsuit, and she appealed to the Seventh Circuit.

First, the Seventh Circuit found that Chicago's ordinance prohibits conduct, not speech. The court acknowledged that some conduct may be protected as "expressive" speech if the conduct conveys its own message without additional speech. Being in a state of nudity, the court held, is not an inherently expressive condition. Even if the conduct was expressive speech, the court determined that the Chicago public nudity ordinance would survive strict scrutiny because its purpose (to promote moral norms and public order) were both self-evident and important.

Second, although the court found that the ordinance does treat men and women differently, the different classifications and treatment under the ordinance did not rise to the level of discrimination, given the inherent physical differences between men and women. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Audio Recordings of Open Meetings Not Exempt Under FOIA


It's been awhile, but the PAC office of the Illinois Attorney General just released its 12th binding opinion for 2017.  In PAC Op. 17-012, the PAC found a public body in violation of FOIA when it denied a request to release audio recordings of meetings of the public body.

A reporter requested, among other records, copies of audio recordings of all board meetings in 2017. The public body denied the request, claiming that the recordings fell under the preliminary records exemption of section 7(1)(f) of FOIA. The reporter appealed the denial of his request for the audio recordings to the PAC. 

The PAC first reviewed section 7(1)(f), finding that it applied only to records "that reflect the give and take of the deliberative process" and not to information that is "already public knowledge." The PAC rejected the public body's argument that the audio recordings were preliminary because they are used in the preparation of the official minutes of the meeting. In support of its opinion, the PAC cited a West Virginia case finding that recordings of meetings were not exempt under a West Virginia FOIA exemption that protects "[i]nternal memoranda or letters received or prepared by any public body." The PAC also noted that FOIA permits a public body to withhold audio recordings of closed sessions, but that the statute does not contain similar language for recordings of open sessions.

In short, the PAC's binding opinion finds that audio recordings of open meetings are not exempt under 7(1)(f) of FOIA. 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bill Would Impact Municipal Accounting Methods



On November 7, 2017, the Illinois House Government Transparency Committee will hear testimony on HB 4104.  That bill was introduced to address confusion about acceptable bases for municipal accounting that resulted from letters the Office of the Illinois Comptroller sent to many municipalities in the spring. The Comptroller letters notified municipalities that they would be required to file audits on an accrual basis of accounting. Although cash basis of accounting is currently permitted under Illinois statute, the Comptroller took the position that the cash basis practice of many municipalities was prohibited, and municipalities that using cash basis for their audits would be fined. 

This bill would clarify that both methods of accounting, cash and accrual, are acceptable methods of filing audits that meet generally accepted accounting principles. The bill is on second reading and may be amended prior to being read on the House floor.  We will keep you posted on this bill.

Post Authored by Jessi DeWalt, Ancel Glink

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bill Would Expand Campaign Disclosure Laws to Cover Social Media


Political campaigns have increasingly used social media as a platform to deliver communications and messages about candidates for elected office to constituents. Perhaps recognizing the impact of these platforms, the Illinois General Assembly recently introduced a bill to amend campaign disclosure laws to expressly reference social media platforms. SB 2251

Section 9-9.5 of the Election Code currently requires political committees to disclose any expenditures the committees make on pamphlets, circular, handbill, Internet or telephone communication, radio, television and print advertisements directed at voters that mention a specific candidate running for office in an upcoming election. That section also requires that the political committee that pays for the ad identify itself in the communication. SB 2251 would amend that disclosure law to expand the disclosure requirements for expenditures on campaign advertisements on "any social media platform." 

The bill was just introduced in the Illinois senate last month. We will keep you posted on the bill as it moves forward.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

City of Chicago Can Impose Real Estate Transfer Tax on Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Transactions


The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that state and local taxing bodies can impose real estate transfer taxes on real estate transactions involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Federal National Mortgage Ass'n v. City of Chicago (7th Cir. Oct. 30, 2017)

The City of Chicago imposes a real estate transfer tax on the transfer of real property within the City. The obligation to pay the tax is on the buyer, not the seller. Chicago also imposes a "supplemental tax" that is paid by the seller unless the seller is exempt under state or federal law, and then it is imposed on the buyer. 

Buyers sued the City of Chicago after the real estate transfer tax was imposed on their purchase of property from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They (and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) argued that they were not subject to the tax because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were exempt from taxation, so the real estate tax was preempted by federal exemption statutes. The district court agreed with the buyers, but the Seventh Circuit ruled against the buyers and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.

The Seventh Circuit rejected the buyers argument that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution (providing that any state law that conflicts with federal law is not effective) applied and the real estate transfer tax was preempted by the federal tax exemption provisions. Although the federal statutes do exempt federal entities from local and state taxation, they do not exempt the parties who transact with exempt entities. In this case, the real estate property tax imposed by the City of Chicago was imposed on the buyers (private parties) and not on the sellers (federal agencies), so the federal tax exemption did not apply to the transaction. As a result, the Seventh Circuit held that the City of Chicago was not barred from collecting the real estate taxes from the buyers in these transactions.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf

Friday, October 27, 2017

IL Supreme Court Will Hear Two FOIA Appeals


In more FOIA news, the Illinois Supreme Court recently granted Petitions for Leave to Appeal (PLA) in two FOIA cases. The Court will hear Institute for Justice v. Ill. Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation, and Perry v. Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional RegulationBoth cases deal with disclosure of documents and the retroactive application of statutes.  

The issue in Institute for Justice is whether complaints regarding licensed cosmetologists and hair braiders are exempt retroactively under Section 4-24 of the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding and Nail Technology Act. The trial court found that no exemptions applied to the case, while the appellate court found that the Act applied retroactively to prevent disclosure of the complaints.  

The issue in Perry is whether the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois applies retroactively to prohibit disclosure of a complaint against plaintiff’s structural engineer’s license. The appellate court similarly found that the Code could be applied retroactively to prevent release of the records under FOIA.


We will monitor the status of these appeals - check the blog for updates! 

Post Authored by Erin Pell, Ancel Glink

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Court Protective Order "Trumps" FOIA in Recent Case


An Illinois appellate court recently addressed consolidated cases regarding the public disclosure and confidentiality of records from a grand jury investigation. These cases involved two separate FOIA requests to the City of Chicago for records pertaining to the investigation and special prosecution of an assault in 2004.  Both FOIA requests were denied by the City based on a protective order. 

The court ruled in favor of the City, finding that a court protective order "trumps" the disclosure requirements of FOIA. In re Appointment of a Special Prosecutor, 2017 IL App (1st) 161376 (October 20, 2017). The court determined that it was proper for the City to withhold documents because a court order commanded the City to do because as the protective order was issued based on the need for confidentiality.

The court did find, however, that the Special Prosecutor’s attorney fee invoices were releasable under FOIA, subject to redactions.   

Post Authored by Erin Pell, Ancel Glink

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

PAC Finds Law Firm Records Are Public Records Under FOIA


In a recent, non-binding request for review, the PAC found that  law firms that represent units of local government are performing a “governmental function” such that the law firm’s records are considered “public records” under FOIA.  2017 PAC 43089

A requester had filed a FOIA request with a school district, seeking all records mentioning and pertaining to an attorney and her law firm. The district responded, but withheld certain records held by its attorneys under Section 7(2) of FOIA, arguing that the records were not “public records.”  The PAC disagreed with the district, finding that the requested records are “public records” if they directly related to a government function that the law firm has contracted to perform for the district. Although the district argued that the law firm was not performing a governmental function, the PAC rejected that argument, finding that the law firm’s litigation services support the district’s education services.  As a result, the PAC ordered the school district to obtain any responsive records from the law firm and disclose them to the requester.


The PAC’s opinion does not address any exemptions that might apply to this request, such as attorney-client privilege. Presumably, the district can still assert those exemptions before turning over any responsive records as ordered by the PAC. 

Although this is merely an advisory opinion and binding on any other public bodies, it is a good reminder that public bodies should list all possible arguments and exemptions in their FOIA response letters, as well as their responses for requests for review to the PAC, because we never know when the PAC might try to make "new law" in one of its opinions. 

Post Authored by Erin Pell and Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Homeless Shelter Qualified as "Government Use" Under Zoning Code



Recently, a court considered a challenge to a change-in-use permit issued to a county housing authority and homeless shelter, finding that the shelter qualified as a "government use" under the zoning regulations and did not require a conditional use permit to operate. The Housing Authority of the County of Lake v. The Lake County Zoning Board of Appeals, et al. 

A housing authority took over ownership of property that had previously been used as a private assisted living facility.  The authority stopped operating the assisted-living facility, and the property stood vacant for several years.  After submitting a request for proposals for ways to use the vacant property, the housing authority entered into negotiations to lease the property to a not-for-profit organization called PADS. PADS sought to use the property as a transitional homeless shelter for chronically homeless adults.

The housing authority and PADS approached the county to determine what zoning approvals would be necessary for the operation of a homeless support program on the property. If the county classified PADS’ use as “assisted-living,” a conditional use permit was required.  However, if PADS’ use was classified as “government use,” no conditional use permit was necessary.  PADS submitted a change-in-use application to the county to change the use of the property from “vacant government” to “government use-no assembly space,” which would not require a conditional use permit. 

Shortly after the county planning director granted the change-in-use request, several residents appealed the director’s decision to the county’s zoning board of appeals (ZBA).  The county ZBA reversed the director’s decision, finding that the use of the property by PADS was not a “government use,” despite the fact that the housing authority owned the property. 


The court analyzed the county’s unified development ordinance, which classified “government use” as a “building or structure owned or leased by a unit of government and used by the unit of government in exercising its statutory authority.”  The residents argued that, since it was PADS that was using the property, and not the housing authority, the “government use” definition did not apply. 

The court disagreed with the residents' argument, citing the fact that the housing authority still owned the property.  The court also noted that the housing authority was authorized by state statute to contract with private entities to further its statutory goals of providing safe and sanitary housing for the disadvantaged. The court found that PADS’ use of the property to provide housing for homeless adults fit squarely within the housing authority’s statutory goals. 

Based on all of these findings, the court found that the “government use” classification was proper because the property was (1) owned by the housing authority, a unit of government; and (2) used by the housing authority in exercising its statutory authority to contract with private entities, like PADS, in order to further its statutory goals.  As a result, no conditional use permit was required.

Post Authored by Kurt Asprooth, Ancel Glink

Monday, October 23, 2017

Suburbs That Mischaracterize Location of Sales Can Be Sued



A few years ago, the state legislature adopted a statute intended to prohibit municipalities from attempting to “manipulate” the location where retail sales occur for the purpose of diverting sales tax revenue to the municipality.  Section 8-11-21 of the Illinois Municipal Code prohibits municipalities from entering into sales tax rebate agreements with retailers that would result in the payment of sales tax to the municipality if, all other things being equal, the sale tax should have been distributed to another municipality based on the application of the tax allocation rules.

This statute recently came into play in City of Chicago, et al. v. City of Kankakee, et al., 2017 IL App (1st)153531. In that case, Chicago claimed that two suburban communities executed sales tax rebate agreements with out-of-state retailers to falsely characterize transactions as occurring in the suburbs, and  that because of that mischaracterization, these sales were not subject to the state’s “use tax.” The use tax is imposed on the sale of tangible personal property sold by out-of-state retailers that do not have a presence in Illinois where the item is used within Illinois. The use tax is collected by the state and then distributed to Chicago and others based on population and other factors. 

Why does it matter whether a retailer pays a use tax or sales tax?  The tax rate for both sales tax and use tax is 6.25%, so the amount of tax remitted by retailers who are required or allowed to pay each tax is the same.  However, the distribution of the tax receipts by the Illinois Department of Revenue is different for these two taxes.  For the sales tax, the State retains 5% and the remaining 1.25% is distributed to the local county and municipality where the sale occurs.  By contrast, for the use tax, the State retains 5% and the remaining 1.25% is distributed according to the following statutory calculation:  20% goes to Chicago, 10% to the RTA, 0.06% to the Madison County Mass Transit District, $3.15M to the Build Illinois Fund, and the remainder is distributed to more than 200 municipalities according to their proportionate share of the State’s population. 

Once you understand the distinction described above, it is easy to see that Chicago would receive 0.25% of the value of all retail sales from out-of-state retailers if the use tax applies. But, if the sale occurred in one of these two suburbs, Chicago would not share in any of the sales tax because that tax would go directly to the suburb. 

While the ultimate merits of the case have not been decided, the case is important because the appellate court held that Chicago, and the other municipal plaintiffs, could sue these two suburbs directly to seek payment of the share of the use tax to which it (or they) allegedly should have been entitled. We will certainly watch this case as it proceeds and keep you posted.


Post authored by Adam Simon, Ancel Glink

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Upcoming Township Conference


Next month, the Township Officials of Illinois (TOI) hosts its annual conference, this year in Springfield. Many of our attorneys and staff from Ancel Glink will be presenting sessions at the conference, so if you are attending the conference, please stop by to one or more of our sessions (session descriptions below). You can also get more information about the TOI conference in the conference brochure here.

Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 1:15-2:15 pm

Township Cemeteries in 2017
Featuring Kurt Asprooth, Ancel Glink
Sponsored by Clerks Division
This session will cover the basics of township cemeteries, including the authority of townships to establish and maintain cemeteries, the author­ity of townships to take over control of existing cemeteries, the revenue sources available to support township cemeteries, the statutory systems of township cemetery governance, and the requirements imposed on town­ship cemeteries under the Cemetery Oversight Act.

Technology in Township Government
Featuring Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by Township Officials of Illinois
Technology marches on and social media is imploding! Should your township participate in social media or avoid it? Do you have the correct policies and procedures in place for your employees regarding technology and for any township social media? Attend this session to find out the best practices

Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Controlling Township Workers Compensation Costs
Featuring Britt Isaly, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by Highway Commissioner
When it comes to controlling workers’ compensation costs, the best defense is a good offense. Your township should be prepared to meet any workers’ compensation claim with the right knowledge and foresight to make sure the claim is later defended properly. Some claims will be accepted ones, but for those claims which are suspicious and are disputed, staff members should be ready with witness statements, photographs, and accident forms in order to preserve the facts of the alleged accident. Come hear from a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney, who has been practicing workers’ compensation law for 20 years, discuss steps you can take to help defend the claim from the beginning and control your township’s workers’ compensation costs.

Technology in Township Government
Featuring Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by Township Officials of Illinois
Technology marches on and social media is imploding! Should your township participate in social media or avoid it? Do you have the correct policies and procedures in place for your employees regarding technology and for any township social media? Attend this session to find out the best practices for technology and to prevent your township from tweeting into trouble.

Best Financial Practices in Township Government
Featuring Robert Porter, Special Projects Director, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by Trustees Division
This session is designed to outline the financial practices that every township should be following to maximize financial return to the town­ship and to maximize cost controls for the township. It is a must session for new and not-so new officials that deal with the township budget, levy, audit, and other financial documents and procedures.

Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, 3:45-4:45 pm

Township Procedures 101
Featuring Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by the Tax Collectors Division
Sometimes, township officials are so busy performing their daily func­tions that they do not have time to keep up on the legal changes regard­ing meeting procedures, financial policies and best practices. This session will review the best practices and policies for township meetings and daily operations.

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 8:00 – 9:00 am

Best Financial Practices in Township Government
Featuring Robert Porter, Director of Special Projects, Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer
Sponsored by the Trustees Division

This session is designed to outline the financial practices that every township should be following to maximize financial return to the town­ship and to maximize cost controls for the township. It is a must session for new and not-so new officials that deal with the township budget, levy, audit, and other financial documents and procedures.