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Complying with OMA

Published: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

In response to Riley Township Supervisor Karen Schnable’s letter to the editor (“Wake up, Marengo residents,” June 4), contrary to the letter’s implications, the Marengo City Council moved to go into closed session pursuant to the applicable Open Meetings Act exception for land acquisition.

Subsequently, negotiations with the landowners came to a successful conclusion and agreements were approved in open session with the city securing such land interests. Over the past 18 months, development and expansion efforts by the city have been the subject of various Northwest Herald articles and several City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meetings (during which Schnable has provided public comment).

Each of these meetings was preceded by public notice in accordance with the Open Meetings Act or other state laws. These meetings were attended by city residents, reflecting the high level of community interest.

Admittedly, the City Council’s decisions on these matters have not been consistent with Schnable’s wishes, but the steps taken by the city and those voluntarily annexing to the city have been taken in strict compliance with all applicable laws, in the open view of the public and after public comment and serious consideration by the City Council.

Apart from Schnable’s allegations, there has been no suggestion and no complaint by city residents that any action of the City Council has not been done in full compliance with the Open Meetings Act.

Carlos Arévalo

Marengo city attorney

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