Black Hawk College on Wednesday released a synopsis of part of a closed session discussion held by the college's trustees after The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus contended part of the discussion should have been in public.
The college Board of Trustees convened a special meeting on Tuesday night to discuss replacing former member Sonia Berg, who resigned effective Nov. 15.
The board accepted her resignation in open session, then went into closed session to discuss the matter further. Afterward, BHC President Thomas Baynum said trustees discussed strategies for finding a successor for Ms. Berg, but reached no decision.
The newspapers on Wednesday asked Illinois Press Association attorney Don Craven to review the board's decision to discuss process in closed session. Mr. Craven said a community college board can meet in closed session to consider the selection of a person to fill a public office, but when they are discussing process, the meeting cannot be closed
"When the board gets to the point it is considering a specific person, the meeting can be closed," Mr. Craven said.
After being contacted on Wednesday about the matter, the college released a statement in the afternoon, providing information about the discussion.
"In discussing potential candidates to fill the vacancy resulting from the resignation of Sonia Berg, the board considered the proximity to the April election, whether the process used to appoint candidates to earlier vacancies was appropriate and what attributes they should look for in the candidates," the statement said.
The statement also cited the portions of Illinois' Open Meeting Act the board used to hold the closed session:
"Public bodies may hold closed sessions to consider the following topics: The selection of a person to fill a public office ... including a vacancy in a public office, when the public body is given power to appoint under law or ordinance, or the discipline, performance or removal of the occupant of a public office, when the public body is given power to remove the occupant under law or ordinance. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(3)."
Black Hawk public relations director John Meineke, who issued the statement, said the board also discussed potential candidates but he could not provide further information about them.
Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday. The board is expected to continue discussions and a closed session is anticipated.
Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.