In January, with weeks of village minutes not reviewed or published, I brought this ongoing problem before the Mount Pleasant Village Board. Spending millions of dollars with no public record of its activities proved to be embarrassing. The village caught up and has been far more conscientious since then.
With the announcement of the Foxconn development, numerous contracts and invoices are approved at each Village Board meeting. None of the supporting documents, which are forwarded to trustees, have ever been made available to the public. I began making open records requests in March for trustee packets and posted them online so residents could see the same information the trustees saw. A few weeks later, Mount Pleasant began posting the trustee packets on its website.
Months ago, village leaders promised to host public information meetings about the Foxconn project. None were scheduled. Several residents and I hosted our own public information forum at Village Hall. That night at our forum, the village announced its first Foxconn forum in late May.
In April, I began broadcasting village meetings live on A Better Mount Pleasant’s Facebook page with hundreds of people watching the posted meetings. Just this week, the village announced it would broadcast all village meetings on Facebook.
Accountability and transparency are possible. We are fortunate to have a village administrator like Maureen Murphy, who has listened and responded to requests to make Mount Pleasant better.