|Published: 11:06 AM, 07/25/2013
||Last updated: 11:07 AM, 07/25/2013
Author: Nelson Morais
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
NEWPORT-The Cocke County Regional Planning Commission
approved a motion Tuesday, asking
the County Legislative Body to exclude citizens' access to tape recordings of
planning commission meetings, and all other countywide agency public meetings,
such as those of committees and commissions.
However, Tennessee Press Association attorney Rick Hollow
stated flatly on Wednesday, July 24, of the county planners' proposal, "they're
wrong" to deny any Tennessee citizen access to the audio recordings.
Hollow said such action, if taken, would violate the Open
Meetings Law and the Public Records Act.
Typically, a secretary at each public meeting takes
notes, and/or uses a tape, to then draft minutes of the meeting, which are
approved at the next meeting by agency officials. That is how the county
planners normally conduct business.
"If the secretary uses the audio tapes to prepare the minutes, then
the audio tapes provide a record" that must be made available to any
"Those tapes are not our official minutes, but (for)
reference points only," said Commissioner Lee Willis at the planners'
meeting. Willis proposed the motion at the meeting on Tuesday.
For more details, please see the Thursday edition of the
Newport Plain Talk.
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