Saturday, December 15, 2012

School board slapped with restraining order for violating Open Meetings Act

In some states the Open Meetings Act is a valued law.
..."Unfortunately, the school board should be setting an example to our children about how the political system should be done the right way. We were certainly used as pawns to try to get one more tower in for the sake of their political career. I'm hoping this will come out and damage their political career. I don't see how any one with the right mind and the sense could conceivable think that 15 cents per student per day is worth all the potential health risks and worth the potential loss in the equity in your home," he said, citing the revenue the tower is expected to bring the school. 
The Marietta Daily Journal filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief for Monday's hearing to support the parents' contention that the board's vote violated Georgia's Open Meetings Act. 
MDJ attorney Robert Fortson of the Marietta firm Turner, Bachman and Garrett said from the Journal's perspective the case was not about a cell phone tower, but about open and honest government, and ensuring that local officials comply with the law. 
"In this instance, the Cobb County Board of Education clearly and apologetically violated the Open Meetings Act. By failing to post this cell tower issue as an agenda item (on its Web site) in advance of the July meeting, the school board effectively silenced any voice of opposition. This is exactly the kind of closed door politics that the act is designed to prevent. Judge Stoddard clearly understood this, which is why he ruled in favor of the plaintiffs," Fortson said. 
In granting the temporary restraining order Monday, Senior Cobb Superior Court Judge Michael Stoddard agreed with the parents and MDJ that the public, "did not have proper notice of the cell tower proposal prior to the July 23, 2009, hearing."...

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - School board slapped with restraining order 

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