Attorney general: Lisle library complied with open meetings law

The Lisle Library board complied with the state's Open Meetings Act when it hired a consultant earlier this year, according to a letter from the Illinois attorney general's office.

In January, library trustees agreed to pay Chicago-based Millennia Consulting LLC up to $59,950 to pursue a community engagement project. The firm will hold meetings and conduct a survey to gather public input for the library's strategic planning process.

Lisle resident Liz Sullivan complained that the Jan. 11 agenda item related to the consultant didn't sufficiently inform the public about the deal. The agenda item read: "Hire consultant - Action Required."

"The agenda item, 'Hire consultant,' seems to be intentionally broad and vague," Sullivan wrote in a February letter to the public access counselor with Lisa Madigan's office.

But after reviewing Sullivan's complaint, the public access bureau issued a letter saying the library board didn't violate the requirements of the Open Meetings Act.

While the agenda item provided no details of the proposed action under consideration, it met the requirement of setting forth "the general subject matter," according to the April 13 letter.

"In addition, the agenda item that immediately preceded it ... did identify the nature of the consultant's work," the letter reads. "When these two consecutive agenda items are read in tandem, they provide advance notice that the board would take final action to determine a maximum amount of compensation for a community engagement consultant and to hire a community engagement consultant."

On Wednesday, library officials said they are gratified by the decision.

"We pay careful attention to all OMA duties and we continue to remain an open and accountable institution," Director Tatiana Weinstein wrote in an email.

In the meantime, Sullivan said she's moving on and wants to inform residents about what's happening at the library.

Starting next month, Sullivan will do that work as a library trustee. She recently was elected to a 4-year seat on the board along with Emily Swistak and Marjorie Bartelli. Trustee Longry Wang was re-elected to a two-year term.

"As a library trustee, we need to do more and deliver chunks of information to the citizens and the taxpayers," Sullivan said. "It's not enough to say, 'If you want to know what's going on, come to our meetings.'"

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