City Council Meeting Addresses Public Records

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By Dave Freneaux

In addition to the items concerning Economic Develoopment, (see seperate article titled "City Council Debates Economic Development Funding"), the Council, at its August 10th meeting, approved several routine zoning requests, selected Council Member Washington as Mayor Pro-Tempore, approved the commencement of $1.1 million in road maintenance, and provided $10,000 over 5 years in support of the Cheneyville Fire Department's maintenance of fire hydrants in Central.
Mayor Mac Watts addressed the issue of redaction of bills for legal services in the public records request by Mike Mannino.  In order to meet the 72 hour requirement to produce the records, the City's first effort to provide the records while protecting the attorney-client privilege took a very conservative approach, resulting in many items being redacted.  This is the same approach that was taken by a different law firm in the Central Community School System's response to a similar public records request by Mr. Mannino.  Mayor Watts, having reviewed all of the redactions with separate legal counsel over the weekend, recommended to the Council that these same billing records, in a much less redacted form after review by legal counsel, be made available to Mr. Mannino.  The Council voted to proceed with the Mayor's recommendation.
Three matters on the agenda were deferred.  A zoning request at Sullivan and Wax, further discussion of the formation of an ethics committee and a proposed ordinance creating a committee structure within the City Council will presumably be heard at the Augurt 24th meeting.

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