May 26, 2022
Government


Government

Kendall County officials take a walk to abide by opening meetings law

County board starts meeting in historic courthouse then adjourns to county office building across the street

Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis, left, and county board Chairman Scott Gryder lead the way out of the Kendall County Historic Courthouse, followed by County Clerk Debbie Gillette and county board members Ruben Rodriguez and Dan Koukol on Jan. 18. (Mark Foster mfoster@shawmedia.com)

YORKVILLE – Kendall County Board members are making sure they observe not just the spirit but the letter of the law.

Specifically it was the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a law with which public officials are very familiar, that was on their minds at the Jan. 18 county board meeting.

The county administration and other offices operate from a rather non-descript brick building at 111 W. Fox St. in downtown Yorkville, and it is there in a nicely remodeled second-floor meeting room that the board members hold their official sessions.

But the meeting agenda that morning, both online and in print, mistakenly listed the location as the Kendall County Historic Courthouse, 109 W. Ridge St., which is located just on the other side of two large vehicle parking lots.

The open meetings law requires that notice of a government meeting, including time and location, must be posted at least 48 hours prior to the start of the session.

The Kendall County Board started its Jan. 18 meeting in the main corridor of the 1887 Historic Courthouse. Seen here from left is Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis, County Clerk Debbie Gillette, county board members Ruben Rodriguez and Dan Koukol and board Chairman Scott Gryder. (Mark Foster - mfoster@shawmedia.com)

Most people did not seem to notice the error and no one had gone to the old courthouse, but the board could not start its meeting in the Fox Street office building without a technical violation of the open meetings law.

So, county board Chairman Scott Gryder led a contingent of board members, and quite conspicuously State’s Attorney Eric Weis, out of the office building and across the parking lots.

The group climbed the stairs leading up to the magnificent 1887 courthouse building, now a forest preserve district facility. They gathered in the main corridor and Gryder called the meeting to order.

The group included board members Dan Koukol and Robyn Vickers of Oswego, along with Scott Gengler and Ruben Rodriguez of Yorkville.

Also making everything official was County Clerk Debbie Gillette and County Administrator Scott Koeppel.

Having called the meeting to order, Gryder promptly asked for a motion to adjourn the session back to the Fox Street office building.

With the legal protocols having been observed and the board creating a historic moment, the group returned to a waiting audience.

Mark Foster

Mark Foster is a reporter for Kendall County Now, covering local government in Kendall County