I feel the mayor-appointed Crime Free Housing Task Force in Belleville is playing games to prevent public participation.
The website calendar listed the Oct. 24 meeting at 7 p.m. When I arrived at 6:50 the meeting was already underway. Jacqueline Lee, the BND reporter, arrived at 6:55 (also believing the meeting was scheduled for 7p.m.).
Housing director Robert Sabo brought us the sign-in sheet and I commented that the meeting was scheduled for 7p.m. I asked to be heard after discussion of the current item. When they finished discussing the current item I raised my hand but was ignored. I left at 7:25 when it was clear I was not going to be allowed to address the task force.
Not only did the website calendar have the wrong start time, there was also no agenda posting. The last posting made on Oct. 22 is of the Oct. 10 7 p.m. agenda. That's 12 days too late.
What is most disturbing is that these games are not legally in violation of the Open Meetings Act. This act only requires that an agenda be posted at the location of the meeting. It's up to the public to visit meeting locations to view posted agendas.
I'm just venting my frustration. But I don't think that a mayor- appointed task force should act like a bunch of elitist snobs. They don't even have to take into consideration nor act upon any public comments. I ask, should we allow these games to prevent pubic participation?