All Workshops Are Recorded Elkton’s Agenda of Aug 11 Advises Citizens

Mayor Fisona’s rush decision to stop recording all workshops of the town was a quick one.  When Elkton published the agenda on Aug. 6 at 3:45 p.m. it put citizens on notice that all regular, special and workshop meetings of the mayor and commissioners are recorded and may be posted on the Internet.  The mayor’s decision came about so fast that staff apparently didn’t have time to adjust the agenda.  It was never discussed in a public meeting, as far as Someone Noticed is aware.

 

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6 responses to “All Workshops Are Recorded Elkton’s Agenda of Aug 11 Advises Citizens

  1. The Mayor’s decision!! Where are the four commissioners? Are they afraid to speak up? Why don’t they say something when the Mayor comes up with these ideas? Oh, I forgot. The “majority” probably made the decision behind closed doors.

    • Debbie:
      Someone Noticed hopes that they’re strictly following these basic, minimum guidelines since they outline a few protections designed to keep the public informed. But as we wach the board, make decisions that require some deliberation, say the one to raise water rates in 50-seconds without discussion, when was that decison made. It wasn’t made at the last workshop, since they all said they need time to consider what they heard. But between that point in time and the next board meeting, it was ready to go and didn’t require elected officials to talk about anything.

  2. That does seem to be the question. I don’t believe state law allows them to go into an executive session and make those sorts of decision without having the public present. I also think that when they all agree on that it is okay to go into closed session, each one of them is affirming that they are proceeding in accordance with Maryland law. I also think that each of them is affirming that while they are in closed session they are only discussing and make decisions as a body on the legally allowed subject. I also think at least one or two of the commissioners would speak up for strict complince with these minimum laws. Sounds like an interesting question to explore. Good to be able to hear about these things from some souurce.

    • Thanks Fred for your thought. Surely the elected representatives (or some of them) would speak up if they’re not following the guidelines. To the credit of Commissoner Givens he has voted against the Mayor once or twice when he wanted to go into a closed session, though all the others were fine with it. And he’s spoken about the need to be more open in government and allow more comments.

  3. Record the meetings yourself and post them on your blog. That is what we had to do here in Centreville to get them to obey the law along. The open meetings act complaints helped too. An audio recording is sufficient if you don’t have the bandwidth.

    • Dtworth, thanks for letting us know how you handled things in Centreville. These laws are such minimum, basic protections of the public’s right to know that some politicians don’t speak up to demand they follow the rules. The idea that the public shouldn’t know what they’re discussing, one has to wonder where that comes from. There are a few things, but for most proceedings, it isn’t necessary and if they would get public input ahead of time, it would make their decisions less controversial and they’d be better informed.

      Anyway thanks for holding public, elected officials accountable. I’ve found your decision to be helpful and I had brought it up a couple of times. That was in the hopes that they’d be proactive and do it right, but they’re taking more regressive actions with each step.

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