Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

January 16, 2013

Public participation topic of Effingham City Council meeting

EFFINGHAM — With the goal of allowing residents enough time to speak, Effingham City Council commissioners zeroed in on their public participation policy Tuesday night.

Some commissioners were concerned about the message a public comment time limit could send. City Attorney Tracy Berberich pointed out how that situation could lead to legal issues.

"Case law does recommend that you have that policy in place," she said.

Commissioner Matt Hirtzel argued that a limit might imply the council doesn't care about residents' concerns.

He suggested using a time limit when necessary, and making that call at the time of the meeting.

Berberich pointed out that doing this on a case-by-case basis could be viewed as discrimination, and lead to litigation.

"I'm not saying what time limit to establish," she said. "You need to have that policy in place ... Take that argument from them ... You don't want to wait until you have the issue."

She reminded the council that no one, not even Mayor Merv Gillenwater, has the right to deny a resident the right to speak at a public meeting.

The differences between public meetings and public hearings were also discussed to ensure commissioner understanding.

"I wouldn't have it open-ended and then say 'but we can make it stricter when we deem you to be unreasonable,'" Berberich said. "Who makes that decision?"

City Administrator Jim Arndt encouraged the use of speaker cards, to be filled out by residents on concerns, and turned in before 5 p.m. on the meeting day.

"This way we can prepare for it and try to meet their needs," he said.

Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or at nicole.dominique@effinghamdailynews.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Complex support divides council All indications at Tuesday’s special meeting of the Effingham City Council indicates Effingham Park District will not get the $1 million it is asking for to help build the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center.In fact, Mayor Merv Gillenwater

    July 30, 2014

  • Correction It was incorrectly reported in Saturday’s Effingham Daily News that federal sex crime suspect Nathan Maphis was at large. Maphis is being held in Madison County Jail. The newspaper erred. Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.

    July 30, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2 Learning and growing together The installation of a Effingham Community Garden sign marks the growing success of a common place for Effingham residents to cultivate plants and produce.“We have 23 large plots and two small plots out here this year,” said University of Illinois Mas

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-30 kitchen fire pic Kitchen fire damages home An unattended kitchen stove led to a full-still fire call at 507 Park Hills Drive Tuesday afternoon.A passerby made a 911 call and reported visible smoke from the eaves of the home at 1:16 p.m. Arriving on scene, Effingham firefighters entered the ho

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man fatally shot in Pana standoff, officer wounded

    Illinois State Police(ISP) and Christian County Sheriff's Office are investigating a shooting that occurred on Tuesday, July 29, in rural Christian County that involved ISP SWAT, a Pana Police officer and an armed offender.

    July 29, 2014

  • City to determine contribution A request by Effingham Park District representatives for a million dollars to help construct the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center is being considered at a special Effingham City Council meeting this evening.Some commissioners questioned

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-29 Filming PRIMARY Effingham grad returns to make film Travis Long says he learned a lot from directing his first full-length feature several years ago.“Kill Me Now was a learning experience, both in shooting and distribution,” the 1998 Effingham High School graduate said.With a full production crew and

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.