Tue
Oct 23 2007
12:34 am

I dont know who is on the Open Meetings Subcommittee, but if someone knows, let us know. I will send them my views opposing any weakening of the Sunshine Law. Hopefully others also will.

(link...)

89
like
Tamara Shepherd's picture

Nah

Why this concern on the part of TML/TCSA that the present law means "officials cannot seek advice or ask questions of colleagues except on one night a month when the body convenes in an open session?"

Isn't that the function of officials' work sessions or committee meetings, to have discussions with and ask questions of their peers? If they have so few works sessions or committee meetings that they can't ask all those questions, don't they just need to schedule more such (public) meetings???

Rachel's picture

Good point, Tamara. City

Good point, Tamara. City Council holds lots of workshops to explore important or complicated issues. Perhaps Commission should think (gasp!) about doing the same.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

Joe328's picture

TML/TCSA

Both the TML and TCSA are paid from tax funds, which means the citizens are fighting themselves. It should be illegal to fund lobbyist from tax revenues.

jbr's picture

Subcommittee suggests quorum requirement

Interesting.

No kidding its a setback. With a little organization politicos will be able to circumvent the quorum requirement
easily.

I am developing a skeptical view of Mr Hammond.

At least we are looking for direction from states known for forward thinking politcal leadership, like Alabama.

(link...)

Carole Borges's picture

Human nature being what it is

I've always hated it when I was on a Board or Commission or even in a workplace situation where a group decision was needed and realized that other people were emailing or calling each other and discussing things privately prior to our getting together.

It seems impossible for some people to just "say no" to this behavior. A few biased "facts" here or there, a scrap of information, a bit of persuasion, these things can be part of what seems like a regular friendly conversation.

Where exactly does friendly chatting end, and "deliberation" begin? The ideal would be that ANY discussion of an item under consideration outside of a set meeting time be banned. There shouldn't be phone calls or emails or conversations. When approached by a person who wants to discuss business that would more properly be brought up at a meeting all someone has to do is say, "Bring that up at the next meeting."

For some people it's always much easier to talk about things with one other person rather than with a group. It's also a way to jockey around for power by finding cohorts you might be able to count on later. I've always resented it when a group member calls me privately to advocate some point.

The Sunshine Laws, as I understand them, are great, but they end up depending on a kind of honor system. Only when blatant backroom bargaining is going on, do people get caught.

Maybe if people didn't allow private conversations about pertinent business to get started they wouldn't find themselves involved in breaking the Sunshine Laws. It's a slippery slope.

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