Urbana school board postpones votes to next week

Urbana school board postpones votes to next week

URBANA — The Urbana school board on Tuesday night postponed voting on any issues on its agenda, including whether to hire a candidate for principal at Urbana High School.

It will vote on those issues next week.

The board was already scheduled to meet March 12.

Superintendent Preston Williams said the votes were postponed because "we're still looking over the information."

Board President John Dimit and member Brenda Carter were both absent.

Don Owen, the district's future superintendent and current assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, introduced that principal candidate, Matthew Stark.

Stark has spent his career at Brown County High School in Nashville, Ind., since 1992. He has been principal there for 10 years.

"We're going to try to do what's in the best interest of each individual kid," Stark told the board Tuesday. He said he's excited at the prospect of leading the high school and isn't the kind of person who moves from job to job.

"I'm not a person who bounces," he said.

Board member Peggy Patten welcomed Stark.

"Welcome to Urbana," she said. "We look forward to working with you."

Don Craven, attorney for the Illinois Press Association, said Tuesday afternoon that the school board would be in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act if it met Tuesday evening, because it sent out its agenda via email Friday but didn't post it to its website until about 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Craven told The News-Gazette on Monday that the law says public bodies that maintain a website with their own staff must post agendas on their websites at least 48 hours before meeting.

On Tuesday, he said citizens concerned by the violation should contact the public access counselor in the Illinois attorney general's office or file suit in circuit court.

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Watching Urbana wrote on March 06, 2013 at 12:03 am

Craven has this all wrong and it’s unbelievable that the N-G has reported it two days in a row. Here is the law. Try and find his quote of “……must post agendas on their websites at least 48 hours before meeting”. You won’t find it because it does not exist!!!


It also does not matter if and when agendas were sent out by email. That could happen at anytime prior to a meeting. The ONLY thing that the law says that HAS to happen to the agenda is that it is posted at the office of the public body and at the location of the meeting. For Urbana schools it is usually one in the same unless they have a meeting at one of their school buildings then it has to be posted at that location.


“An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where the meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting. A public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall also post on its website the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body of that public body.” You’ll find this in full below. The only other thing that it says about posting on a website is that once it’s posted it has to stay posted until the meeting is concluded. NO WHERE does it state a time for when it has to be posted on a website.


(5 ILCS 120/2.02) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.02) 
    Sec. 2.02. Public notice of all meetings, whether open or closed to the public, shall be given as follows: 
    (a) Every public body shall give public notice of the schedule of regular meetings at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year and shall state the regular dates, times, and places of such meetings. An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where the meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting. A public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall also post on its website the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body of that public body. Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body's website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded. The requirement of a regular meeting agenda shall not preclude the consideration of items not specifically set forth in the agenda. Public notice of any special meeting except a meeting held in the event of a bona fide emergency, or of any rescheduled regular meeting, or of any reconvened meeting, shall be given at least 48 hours before such meeting, which notice shall also include the agenda for the special, rescheduled, or reconvened meeting, but the validity of any action taken by the public body which is germane to a subject on the agenda shall not be affected by other errors or omissions in the agenda. The requirement of public notice of reconvened meetings does not apply to any case where the meeting was open to the public and (1) it is to be reconvened within 24 hours, or (2) an announcement of the time and place of the reconvened meeting was made at the original meeting and there is no change in the agenda. Notice of an emergency meeting shall be given as soon as practicable, but in any event prior to the holding of such meeting, to any news medium which has filed an annual request for notice under subsection (b) of this Section. 


It is ridiculous of this guy to jumped the gun by telling citizens to contact the public access counselor in the Il attorney generals office or file a suit in circuit court when the meeting in question had not even taken place yet. What good advice from an attorney, huh? And also ridiculous of the N-G to turn a blind eye to the law that is spelled out in black and white. STOP MAKING A STORY!


Leave the school district alone. Stop making them spend money on attorney fees instead of students!!!!!