Attorney general reviewing vote by Lisle library board

The Illinois Attorney General's office is looking into whether the Lisle Library board of trustees violated the state's Open Meetings Act when it voted earlier this year to hire a consultant.

Library trustees on Jan. 11 agreed to pay Millennia Consulting up to $59,950 to do community engagement work. The firm will conduct surveys, host meetings and use other methods to gather public input for the library's next strategic planning process.

But Lisle resident Liz Sullivan says none of that was made clear on the agenda for the Jan. 11 meeting.

Sullivan, who is a Lisle library trustee candidate, says the agenda item related to the consultant simply read: "Hire consultant - Action Required."

"The agenda as presented fails to meet any common sense measure of sufficiently informing the public," Sullivan wrote last month in a letter to the public access counselor with Lisa Madigan's office. "In fact, the agenda item, 'Hire consultant,' seems to be intentionally broad and vague."

She also says the library failed to include information about the agenda item in the board packet that was posted online.

After receiving Sullivan's request for a review, the public access bureau determined further action is warranted.

In a Feb. 24 letter to the library district, the public access bureau asked the board to respond in writing to Sullivan's allegations. Copies of the notice, agenda and meeting minutes for the January meeting also were requested.

On Monday, library officials said they received the letter in the mail on March 1 and have until Friday to respond.

Library board President Richard Flint said in a statement that the board doesn't agree with Sullivan's allegations.

"This community engagement project has been publicly discussed and proposed over many months," he said.

But "in the interests of clarity," trustees will vote to "approve and confirm" the decision to hire Millennia Consulting during its meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the library, 777 Front St.

Despite the January vote, Flint said work hasn't started on the community engagement project.

"Millennia Consulting needs to learn about the library, interview the board and staff, and tour the facility before embarking on public meetings, focus groups and data collection," he said.

Sullivan says she wants the action the board took in January to be rescinded. She then wants the item to appear "properly" on a future agenda and have all the materials related to the hiring in the board packet.

"I want taxpayers to have an opportunity to weigh in on whether they think spending $60,000 is a good idea," Sullivan said Monday. "If they (the board) keep everything private, taxpayers don't even know what's going on."

Sullivan is one of five candidates seeking three seats on the library board in the April 4 election. The other candidates are Marjorie M. Bartelli, Emily Swistak, incumbent John Huff and incumbent Colleen Sehy.

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