Good news for open government advocates: The Georgia Supreme Court today upheld a lower court’s assessment of legal fees to citizens who challeged closed meetings held by the Statesboro City Council. The ruling comes after the council met in secret last year to discuss eliminating the jobs of the city’s police and fire chiefs.
Hearings will start this month on an overhaul of Georgia’s sunshine law that would open more meetings to the public and pull hidden public records out of private databases. Attorney General Sam Olens predicts House Bill 397 can pass the state Legislature next year, though he admitted the law doesn’t go as far as he would like.
House Ethics reviewing Lewis aide AG: Glynn library board violated Open Meetings Act ATL, Coffee Co. school boards face hearings
Local governments in Georgia can use paper or computer software to comply with Georgia’s Open Meetings Act, which requires that government agencies keep records of official meetings. DeKalb County schools are in the education business, but they haven’t learned to adhere to that basic principle. School officials can’t produce minutes of two meetings where a controversial salary audit was discussed, nor the audit’s executive summary that was supposedly kept in the official file of a third meeting.
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