Alabama Council Members Debate Use of Online City Meetings

The Alabama governor’s emergency order allowing teleconferenced meetings in limited situations during the COVID-19 pandemic is being abused by the council majority, according to at least one Decatur, Ala., councilman. Gov. Kay Ivey’s order waives portions of the Open Meetings Act by allowing teleconferenced meetings, but only for COVID-19-related business and as “necessary to perform…


Texas City Virtual meeting may have violated Open Meetings Act

The city’s first attempt Monday at holding a virtual public meeting of the city council was plagued by technical issues that made video spotty and audio sometimes impossible to hear. Moreover, it may have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act. Under Gov. Greg Abbot’s emergency declaration, meetings of more than 10 are prohibited. A temporary…


Open-government task force delivers report to Santa Rosa council

A report on ways to create a more open government in Santa Rosa was welcomed by the City Council, though quick action on its recommendations is unlikely.

The report of the city’s Open Government Task Force was the final item presented to the outgoing City Council on Tuesday. That means implementation of its suggestions, including passing a sunshine ordinance and hiring a communications director, will fall to the new council, which will revisit the issue in February.


Seeking government transparency in Santa Rosa

Eight months after it was formed, the city’s Open Government Task Force is putting the finishing touches on recommendations it hopes will make it easier for residents to engage with their government.

The nine-member panel, which was formed in the wake of the death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, found that City Hall needs to restore public trust by being more transparent, engaged with the community and adept at communicating in times of crisis.


Watchdog Calls Out Garden Grove for Withholding Records

The First Amendment watchdog group and NFOIC affiliate member, Californians Aware is calling on the Garden Grove City Council to publicly apologize under threat of legal action for a violation of the state's open meetings law, after it withheld an investigative report on the fire department last week.

At the Oct. 14 City Council meeting, council members received a written report investigating management issues in the fire department.