South Bend City Clerk responds to cancelation of Common Council meeting

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:09 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend City Clerk Dawn Jones held a press conference in response to the cancelation of Monday night’s Common Council meeting, where a resolution calling for reparatory justice was set to be heard.

Earlier this month, the Common Council temporarily pulled the resolution, saying it was not properly submitted for consideration. This time, the council said the notice of the meeting was not posted in time.

In a news release sent out on Monday morning, Council President Sharon McBride said she canceled the meeting because a notice of it was not physically posted at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting time as required by law.

“At the chambers because that’s where the meeting was for the committee and the full council and there was no posting to date posted at that location,” said McBride.

According to McBride, the online notification was not accessible to the public until after 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20. In turn, the meeting was canceled, which meant all bills that were set to be reviewed at Monday’s meeting were delayed—including the reparatory resolution.

According to Indiana Code, “The governing body of a public agency shall give public notice by posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the public agency holding the meeting...”

City Clerk Dawn Jones, however, claims a meeting notice was posted twice. The first time was back in December, and then again last week.

“That’s our job to make sure all of those things are posted. It’s our job to make sure that when we have committee meetings or when we have council meetings, it’s our job to make sure the public knows about that...That’s all I want to do is my job, which is to make sure that the process is complete...And it’s really kind of suspicious that this is election year and it’s right before the election, and all of the sudden we have these problems,” said Jones.

Jones claims she always follows Indiana Code and thinks McBride may have canceled the meeting to try and delay discussion on the resolution, which calls for money to be invested into the city’s minority communities.

“It may be this reparation was uncomfortable for some, I don’t know,” Jones said. “But it’s still here and it’s not going anywhere, so we might as well come together as a group, as a unified people, maybe having differences of opinions. But we need to look at the issues that everybody is having.”

“There’s no way in the world, me, could cancel a council meeting for a claim...or not to want to hear a bill and not adhere to the law,” said McBride.

The Common Council is apologizing for the inconvenience. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6.

You can read Monday morning’s press release in its entirety below: