My resolution is for transparency
Published 4:09 am Saturday, June 1, 2019
My comment on the resolution pertaining to “A RESOLUTION to establish a three member subcommittee (work group) in order to research, developed, and review applicable data, documents, instructions and forms pertaining to sale of adjudicated properties to adjoining landowners’ $1 program.” is a plead to explore an opportunity to research a resolve blighted property issues, as well as, the purchase of adjudicated properties for one dollar. A concern pertaining to this resolution is to ensure transpiracy is practiced and maintained to our citizen pertaining to this city matter and that appointed workgroup/sub committee should or should not adhere to the Louisiana Laws. Open Meeting Laws as follows:
Article XII, Section 3, Louisiana Constitution (1974)
Right to Direct Participation
No person shall be denied the right to observe the deliberations of public bodies and examine public documents, except in cases established by law.
La. R.S. 42:11 Short title
This Chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Open Meetings Law.”
La. R.S. 42:12 Public policy for open meetings; liberal construction
- It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens be advised of and aware of the performance of public officials and the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy. Toward this end, the provisions of this Chapter shall be construed liberally.
- Further, to advance this policy, all public bodies shall post a copy of this Chapter.
La. R.S. 42:13 Definitions
- For the purposes of R.S. 42:12 through R.S. 42:28:
(1) “Meeting” means the convening of a quorum of a public body to deliberate or act on a matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power. It shall also mean the convening of a quorum of a public body by the public body or by another public official to receive information regarding a matter over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power.
(2) “Public body” means village, town, and city governing authorities; parish governing authorities; school boards and boards of levee and port commissioners; boards of publicly operated utilities; planning, zoning, and airport commissions; and any other state, parish, municipal, or special district boards, commissions, or authorities, and those of any political subdivision thereof, where such body possesses policy making, advisory, or administrative functions, including any committee or subcommittee of any of these bodies enumerated in this paragraph.
(3) “Quorum” means a simple majority of the total membership of a public body.
example, if a committee of three (the majority) meets on city matters, the quorum of the committee would be two, therefore should adheres to the Open meeting lawa.
There are numerous LA Attorney General Opinions demonstrating as such:
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 16-0170: Committees of public bodies must adhere to the provisions of Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law, La. R.S. 42:11 et seq., just as the public bodies themselves must do.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 10-0121: If a majority of members of the New Orleans City Council or a majority of members of a Committee of the Council, assembled informally, deliberate, act or receive information regarding matters which are or may come before the Council or that Committee, such a gathering is to be considered a “meeting” which must comply with the Open Meetings Law. However, if a majority of the Council or a Committee meet by chance or gather at a social function, as long as there is no deliberation, action or information received concerning a matter over which the Council or Committee has “supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power,” such a gathering is not subject to the Open Meetings Law.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 09-0197: An ad hoc committee formed by the Chairman of the St. Tammany Parish Council which possesses an advisory function is subject to the requirements of the Open Meetings Law.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 93-0315: A private session of a quorum of a city council held to discuss “goal seeking” efforts of the municipality would be violative of the Open Meetings Laws.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 87-0048: A meeting, as defined in the Open Meetings Laws, includes gatherings to discuss or act, and the fact that no binding action is taken or intended will not remove a meeting from the requirements of the Open Meetings Laws. Meetings held pursuant to prior notice of the intent to discuss official business must meet the requirements of the Open Meetings Laws.
La. Atty. Gen. Op. No. 84-0395: A “public body” includes any committee or subcommittee of a city governing authority, and the fact that a committee cannot make a final decision on a matter does not remove meetings of that committee from the ambit of the open meetings requirements. It was found, “In conclusion, a working committee of a municipality constitutes a public body when it meets to discuss matters over which it has authority or advisory power, even if the committee takes no binding action.”
La. R.S. 42:14 Meetings of public bodies to be open to the public
- Every meeting of any public body shall be open to the public unless closed pursuant to R.S. 42:16, 17, or 18.
( La. R.S. 42:16 Executive Sessions and La. R.S. 42:17 Exceptions to open meetings
In essence, this awareness of Open Meeting Laws in not an attack in any form or fashion, but an attempt to practice transpiracy toward all citizens of Bogalusa, as the city council, as a public body, conducts city business.
Bogalusa City Council, District A