My topic this week is the second round of the Police Chief Selection Committee.
After attending the first meeting of the retake of the Police Chief Selection Committee, I gave the staff and the committee an A+ for the teamwork they displayed.
Mr. Icsman physically appeared before the committee to let them know that the committee is considered a public body. He proceeded to enlighten them about the obligations of a public body. Before leaving the meeting, Mr. Icsman offered his help if the group should need further assistance from him. There was no question that his legal expertise was needed in assisting the group.
The definition of a “public body”: Any board, commission, committee, subcommittee, council, or similar decision making body of a state agency, institution, or authority, and any legislative authority or board, commission, committee, council, agency, authority, or similar decision making body of any county, township, municipal corporation, school district, or other political subdivision or local public institution.
As for the Human Resource staff member attending the meeting, she documented the meeting with assistance from a tape recorder so minutes of the meeting will be available.
HR should be trained in the Sunshine Law. If the HR staff member had been properly trained, she could have assisted the committee tremendously with her knowledge because she would have had the training to implement the following items listed below, which is required of a public body.
Basic 101 of the Sunshine Law:
Doors are to be unlocked during the public body meeting.
Minutes shall be promptly prepared, filed and maintained and open for public inspection.
Meetings are to be announced ahead of time. If a special meeting is called, other then the regular meetings, a twenty-four hour notice is required.
Meetings are to be open to the public.
Public bodies are allowed to go into executive session if the occasion warrants.
Until next week, the city staff and the commissioners must become more proactive and work as a team in order to prevent unnecessary legal expenses. There is absolutely no room for ignorance of the law when the Sunshine Law training is offered free by the State.