March 6th BOC meeting determined to be illegal
though the BOC meeting only had 4 items on the agenda, we expected
it to last longer than 15 minutes! However, due to an error by the
County Manager, the meeting was declared an illegal meeting and
adjourned shortly after it started.
After having the
call to order, pledge, and a few agenda comments, Mr. Chuck Forsythe
brought it to the board’s attention that the meeting was illegal.
The agenda had NOT been posted on the Courthouse door, or in
any other posting place as required by law. Comm. Bernard
immediately asked Greg Williams, County Manager, if the agenda had
been posted. The County Manager said he had sent it to the paper,
but admitted he never posted the agenda. The County Manager is the
one in “charge of” the agenda.
Comm. Bernard then
asked the County Attorney what he thought. The County Attorney
agreed that if the
agenda is not posted (as required by open meetings law) then the
meeting could be challenged and all that was done could be null and
void. The meeting was then over! Comm. Hill said, “I took a whole
day off work!” The County Attorney will also submit a bill for his
time coming to the meeting. The County Manager had from Tuesday,
when the agenda was sent to the paper, until Friday when he left
work to post the agenda. It just wasn’t done.
After four years
of complaining, writing, and talking about Open Meetings and Open
Records, it seems there are still problems. Greg Williams was the
County Administrator (or similar title) in Rockdale County. He has
told us on several occasions about Open Meetings laws, especially
concerning minutes—when minutes have to be taken, how minutes can be
taken (by doing only the minimum required), and if minutes must be
taken (supposedly, not at work sessions). The TWG continues to
question the County Manager on his assertion about not taking
minutes, and we have sent a letter to the Attorney General’s
office asking for clarification on the matter. We urge the
Commissioners to read the Open Meetings laws so THEY are familiar
with them and know what the law actually says.
This BOC meeting
will now be held next Monday, March 13, 2006, at 9:00am. We will
check to make sure the agenda is properly posted.
Please try to attend! You never
know what might happen.