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Council Auditor Releases Sunshine Law Compliance Report

On May 29th, the Council Auditor’s Office released its Sunshine Law Compliance Review Report of City Council.  Overall, the Council Auditor did not find any evidence of non-compliance with the Sunshine Law, but there were a few problematic issues.

1. The Council Auditor noted that nine (9) out of 52 meeting notices did not include the time to be posted and one (1) out of 52 meeting notices did not include the date and time to be posted. Section 15.103(a) of the Ordinance Code states that “the notices required shall include at a minimum … (ii)the date and time the notices are to be posted…” The date and time the notices are to be posted informs Legislative Services Division of when to post a meeting notice in order to meet the 24-hour requirement, ensuring that the public has sufficient notice to attend meetings. This finding was noted in the previous Sunshine Law Compliance report #651. It appears that the Council Director/Secretary has taken the necessary action to address and correct the issues identified in our initial report.

In addition, all 10 instances of noncompliance with this requirement occurred in May and June 2008, prior to the issuance of Report #651, and prior to the annual Sunshine Law Training provided in June 2008. Although these were technical exceptions, all 10 meetings were correctly posted at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting date.

2. The Council Auditor noted that seven (7) out of 52 meeting notices did not include the meeting
initiator. Section 15.103(a) of the Code states that “the notices required shall include at a
minimum: …the Council Member calling the meeting…” This finding was noted in the previous
Sunshine Law Compliance report #651. It appears that the Council Director/Secretary has taken
the necessary action to address and correct the issues identified in our initial report through the
use of Council Member letterhead on initiated meeting documents.

In addition, all seven instances of noncompliance with this requirement occurred in May and
June 2008, prior to the issuance of Report #651, and prior to the annual Sunshine Law Training
provided in June 2008.

3. The Council Auditor noted seven (7) out of 52 meeting minutes did not include the date of the
meeting. Section 15.106(c) states that “the minutes of every Council Public Meeting conducted
between two or more Council Members outside of the regular Council meeting or committee
meeting structure shall reflect, at a minimum: the location, date and time the meeting
commenced and adjourned…”

4. The Council Auditor noted one (1) out of 52 meeting minutes did not include the meeting
adjournment time. Section 15.106(c) of the Code states that “the minutes of every Council Public
Meeting conducted between two or more Council Members outside of the regular Council
meeting or committee meeting structure shall reflect, at a minimum: the location, date and time
the meeting commenced and adjourned…”

The Council Auditor’s Office noted one opportunity for improvement:

We recommend that the names of the Council Members and other public officials and employees
in attendance be documented in all meeting minutes. This will allow the public to clearly identify
which Council Members, public officials and employees are present at a meeting, especially if
signatures are illegible on the sign-in sheet. The original attendance sign-in sheet should still be
retained with the official meeting minutes for a complete record of all attendees.

The entire Council Auditor’s report can be viewed here.

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Filed under: Jacksonville, Jacksonville City Council, , ,

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