Diane Moca: Welcome to Talking Cities Aurora, I'm Diane Moca with today's top headlines in our city. Residents of Aurora say only a small fraction of our city's elected officials respond to calls and emails from constituents. Here at Talking Cities Aurora, we have faced the same lack of response after requesting information from some city workers. Sandi Schmitt: They aren't being transparent and getting back to people in a timely manner. I sent emails to all the aldermen at least twice. The only person I really ever got a response from was Mike Seville. Casey Cuevas: I reached out to everybody on this board, on this council, and only three people reached back out to me. To me that is not acceptable. That's your job to serve us. You work for us. Diane Moca: Members of the public say their city representatives are ignoring their concerns about issues ranging from ward redistricting to zoning changes. Mayor Richard Irvin asked a police officer to escort a resident out of a recent city council meeting because she exceeded her public comment time limit. Donna Zine has been critical of city workers and elected officials for approving a storage facility to replace the old Carson Store on Lake Street. She said a comprehensive plan for Lake Street was supposed to include needed neighborhood services, better paying jobs, and environmentally friendly green roofs that proved to be successful in Toronto. She ticked off the benefits of the roofs from reducing storm runoff and pollution to providing electricity and jobs until her comments were cut off. Donna Zine: We are a decade behind Toronto and countless US cities with green infrastructure policies. But if we start now, at least we won't be 50 years behind one day like we currently are with our computer technology. Mayor Richard Irvin: Thank you. Ma'am. Madam clerk ... Donna Zine: I'm not done. Mayor Richard Irvin: Yes you are. Ma'am, speakers, officer, if you could remove the young lady from speaking. Thank you very much. Do we have any additional speakers clerk? Speaker 6: We do. Mr. Mayor. The next speaker is Adam Polly. Mayor Richard Irvin: Mr. Polly, will you approach please? Donna Zine: In place. Yes, I'll be back. Diane Moca: Later in the meeting, city council honored three Aurora students who won $30,000 in savings bonds at a National Cyber Mission contest sponsored by the US Army. Team OMG from Grainger Middle School took first place after testing away to use eco-friendly soil additives to address widespread magnesium deficiencies among millions of Americans. Nidhi Sagaram: Magnesium deficiencies can cause mental illnesses, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and hypomagnesemia. Subclinical magnesium deficiencies cost nations around the world an incalculable amount of healthcare costs and suffering and should be considered a public health crisis. Shweta Baid: We're so proud of you, the great team. It's just, I'm speechless. These are new incoming freshmen kids and they'll do wonders in high school too. Aruna Rao: I think they truly inspired me the other way around, so I'm grateful and thankful to them and their parents for this opportunity. Thank you. Diane Moca: The winners had just finished eighth grade when they traveled to Washington DC this summer to compete against 65 other teams all presenting their solution to a real world problem. Those are today's trending topics. From Talking Cities Aurora, I'm Diane Moca.
Aurora Residents Say City Officials Are Not Responding To Their Emails, Texts & Calls
Residents and business owners have repeated the same complaint about lack of response from Aurora’s elected officials after reaching out multiple times by email and phone. Residents are allowed to voice their concerns at city council meetings twice a month, but one person was removed by a police officer for exceeding the public comment time limit.
You can see the section of the Illinois Open Meetings Act that addresses the right to speak at government meetings in our Talking Cities story below:
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