Wherever two or three shall gather | Arkansas Blog

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wherever two or three shall gather

Posted By on Mon, May 19, 2008 at 3:08 PM

You may recall that earlier this spring the Pulaski County School District superintendent called for bids from private companies to take over the district's transportation services. Today the low-bidding company's representatives are in town meeting with some school board members individually at the district's administration building. That set-up circumvents FOI laws that treat most gatherings of two or more board members as public meetings.


Superintendent James Sharpe is out on medical leave, and the district's chief financial officer, Larry O'Brien, who's attending the meetings, hasn't returned our phone call yet. But board member Danny Gililland said the district administration set up the meetings so board members could ask questions and receive information privately.


Whether such meetings violate the letter of the state FOI law isn't clear.  The Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled it's illegal to poll board members one-by-one in individual conversations even if the board later takes a public vote on the issue, but that decision didn't address meetings that were supposed to be strictly informational.


Gililland said he hadn't thought about such meetings having the effect of shutting the public out, but he understands the concerns. Still, he said, he appreciated having the chance to ask what might be stupid questions "without making an idiot of myself."


We get that, but can't agree that a public official's desire to not look stupid trumps the public's right to know that official's decision-making process.

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Jennifer Barnett Reed

  • Learning to love North Little Rock in Park Hill

    Any description of North Little Rock's Park Hill neighborhood will eventually, inevitably, include a comparison to Hillcrest, its better-known cousin south of the river.
    • Dec 28, 2011
  • A reason to splash

    Fun rain gear and more at InJoy.
    • Mar 12, 2009
  • Pick up some spice

    And we ain’t talking about tarragon.
    • Feb 26, 2009
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation