I attended the second Police Chief Selection Committee meeting. After the first meeting, I figured, finally, the group was on the right track and all would go well. Having knowledge of the Sunshine Law, the second meeting seemed to be a little different and I wondered if I spoke too soon. Once again, the Police Chief Selection Committee appeared to be in violation of the Sunshine Law. The Register had confirmed my findings in the article they recently wrote.
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How many times does the situation have to happen before the people overseeing the committees understand the laws? Committees are not considered informal meetings. Committees are conducted in the same manner in which the City Commission meetings are conducted, the same Sunshine Laws apply.
Lately, the public has been receiving a great deal of education regarding the Sunshine Law and public records but is anyone really paying attention? Costly mistakes and wasted time can leave you wondering if it is truly the lack of training or are the Sunshine Laws purposely being disregarded.
There is evidence that some government entities like to push the buttons when it comes to complying with the Sunshine Laws. At times, the situation can become an absolute challenge. There are times when the entities push the requester’s patience to extremes but the entity must comply whether they like it or not as the choice is not up to them but what the law states.
Until next week, the City Attorney needs to keep a tight rein on the committee until they get through the process. It is essential that the committee produce a fair and balanced outcome.