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March 6th BOC meeting determined to be illegal

Even 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 postedPlease try to attend!  You never know what might happen.

 

TWG

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