Hustonville admits open meetings error, AG rules newspaper appeal ‘moot’

HUSTONVILLE — After four city council members were seen gathered outside of city hall and heard discussing public business, a complaint was filed by The Interior Journal alleging the gathering violated the state’s Open Meetings Act.

The complaint, which was filed on Oct. 17, detailed what the newspaper called an “in-person meeting of members in a quorum without notice to the public” that took place on Oct. 3, following the regular city council meeting.

“The Interior Journal editor overheard councilman Spivey discussing the city’s recent replacement of missing or faded street signs as well as a new three-person committee voted into place by the council that night. These topics were on the Oct. 3 public meeting agenda and were discussed during the public meeting. The council members remained there, talking for at least 20 minutes following the meeting and were still outside talking when the editor left the premise,” the complaint states.

Mayor David Peyton was not present during the regular Oct. 3 meeting due to illness but expressed his concern with potential open meetings violations saying, “Back at the table, that’s where we conduct city business, not outside, not at somebody’s house.”

The newspaper filed an appeal with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Nov. 7 after the City of Hustonville failed to provide a written response to the complaint within three days, which is also a provision of the state’s Open Meetings Act. Read more…