Aldermen votes, CityCouncil, Crematorium

Why voting again on Crematorium?

Weathered crematory in Russel Jensen's skeleton of a warehouse for two years 2450 Grinnell Rd, Kankakee, IL (KankakeeGazette.com images)At the June 20, 2011 City Council meeting, the Council defeated Mr. Jensen’s request for a permit to operate a crematorium by defeating the motion to place the item on its second reading.

The Mayor had not placed the second reading of Mr. Jensen’s Special Use permit request on the agenda for the June 6 meeting. On June 20, it was also not on the agenda.

Alderman Hunter made a motion, seconded by Alderman Jones, to amend the agenda to include the second reading on the crematorium issue. Then Alderman Baron, seconded by Alderman Rich Browne, made a motion to table, which did not carry.

The Motion to amend the agenda to place Mr. Jensen’s conditional use permit request on second reading passed seven ayes to six nays and was placed under unfinished business.

When the meeting reached unfinished business, the Mayor asked, “Do I have a motion to place this item on its Second Reading?”

Alderman Hunter responded, “Motion to defeat this matter,” seconded by Alderman Carl Brown, to not place the item on its second reading.

The motion to not place the item on its second reading carried with the Aldermen voting as follows:
Aye: Brown, C; Hunter; Thompson; Tall; Stokes; Jones; Cox (7);
NAY: Browne, R.; Baron; Faford; Swanson; Osenga; Linneman (6); ABSTAIN: Davidson (1)
In the past, according to one Alderman, City Attorney Bohlen had explained that this procedure – adding an agenda item and voting on it at the same meeting – was legal. This procedure is followed in Kankakee City Council occasionally throughout the year.

Kankakee Police Detective Richard Cox, President of the local Fraternal Order of Police, felt this violated the 48 hours public notice requirement of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. On July 26, 2011, he submitted a Request for Review to the Office of the Attorney General. The state responded as follows:

“The undisputed facts in this matter demonstrate that the Council took action on the Jensen Special use permit without providing the required public notice. Therefore, in order to remedy this violation, the Council is directed to post the motion for the Jensen Special Use permit on its next meeting agenda, to discuss the matter in open session, and to re-vote on the matter.”
From Matthew C. Rogina, Assistant Attorney General, Public Access Bureau.”

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