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Two Years Later, Atlanta Council Discloses Secret Vote

(APN) ATLANTA -- On Monday, March 05, 2012, the City Council of Atlanta unanimously approved a resolution to amend the minutes of the February 2010 Council Retreat, to reflect the names of those Council Members voting for or against a proposal related to limiting public comment.

Atlanta Progressive News has fought for two years and one month for the Council to disclose the names.  From February 2010 to May 2010, we pressured first the Council, then individual Members, to disclose their votes.  By May 2010, nine members had disclosed their votes to APN, and six refused.  The secret six were Carla Smith (District 1), who later disclosed her vote to APN; Ivory Young (District 3), Alex Wan (District 6), Howard Shook (District 7), Joyce Sheperd (District 12), and Lamar Willis (Post 3-at-large).

APN's News Editor--the present writer--then filed a pro se lawsuit against the City for violating the Georgia Open Meetings Act and appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Georgia, who last month, on February 06, 2012, ruled that the names of the naysayers and the abstainers had to be disclosed in non-roll call votes.

On Sunday, March 04, 2012, APN published an Open Letter, asking for the umpteenth time, for the Council to amend the minutes.  APN's Editor also addressed the Council at the March 05 meeting.

Towards the end of the meetings, current Committee on Council Chairwoman Yolanda Adrean (District 8) introduced a personal paper for immediate consideration.  The bill passed 10 to 0.  Adrean made the motion to approve; Moore seconded.  FULL TEXT, as transcribed from Adrean's reading, below:

####

A resolution amending the minutes of the Elected Officials Training and City Council Retreat held at the Georgia Aquarium on February 18th and 19th, 2010, and for other purposes.

Whereas the Atlanta City Council conducted its Elected Officials Training and City Council Retreat on February 18 and 19, at the Georgia aquarium and,

Whereas the Elected Officials Training and the City Council Retreat were properly noted and advertised as a public meeting pursuant to the requirements of the Georgia Open Meetings Act,

And Whereas this Elected Officials Trining and City Council Retreat was open to the public as required by the Georgia Open Meetings Act,

And Whereas following this Elected Officials Training and City Council Retreatthe Municipal Clerk of the City of Atlanta prepared minutes entitled "February 18-19, 2010, Elected Officials Mandatory Training and City Council Retreat Report"(herein after called "the Report") as required by the Georgia Open Meetings Act, attached hereto as Exhibit A,

And whereas in an issue of first impression by the Courts, the Georgia Supreme Court, Cardinale v. City of Atlanta, et al.) recently interpreted the Georgia Open Meetings Act to require in the case of a non-roll call vote, the minutes of a public meeting must include the names of those present voting against a proposal and the names of those abstaining,

And whereas during the February 18 and 19, 2010, and Elected Officials Training and City Council Retreat, a non-roll call vote was taken to determine whether members present wished the Committee on Council of the Atlanta City Council to consider uniform rules for public comment at all Committee Meetings.

And Whereas the Report of the February 18 and 19, 2010, Elected Officials Training and City Council Retreat currently does not reflect how the members present voted on this proposal,

And Whereas the Atlanta City Council wishes to amend the Report to comply with the ruling of the Georgia Supreme Court, the Council of the City of Atlanta, Georgia, hereby resolves as follows:

Section 1

That the municipal clerk be and is hereby authorized to amend the Report as follows:
The last paragraph on page 6 and 7, entitled Discussion and Various Council Administrative and Procedural Issues, currently reads as follows:

During a working lunch, Council Members discussed public comment at Council Committee Meetings.  Committee on Council Chair Felicia Moore polled the members asking if they wanted to amend the current governing code section 2-136 entitled Remarks from Public, to set uniform time limits and rules for public comment at Committee Meetings.

After an extensive discussion it was determined that the membership was not in support of amending the existing law.

Currently public comment time limits are set or not at the discretion of the Committee Chairs.

According to Roberts Rules of Order, which the Council and its Committees operate under, a Chair's decision may be overruled by a required vote of the membership.

This paragraph shall be amended to assert the following language:

Seven members voted in favor of COC considering uniform rules for public comment at all Meetings.

Those seven members were Keisha Lance Bottoms, Joyce Sheperd, Howard Shook, Alex Wan, Aaron Watson, H. Lamar Willis, and Ivory Lee Young, Jr.

Eight members voted against the COC considering uniform rules for public comment at Committee Meetings.

Those eight members were Yolanda Adrean, Natalyn Archibong, Michael Bond, Kwanza Hall, CT Martin, Felicia Moore, Carla Smith, and Cleta Winslow.

The paragraph as amended shall read as follows:

During a working lunch, Council Members discussed public commentat Council Committee Meetings.  Committee on Council Chair Felicia Moore polled the members asking if they wanted to amend the current governing code section 2-136 Entitled Remarks from Public, to set uniform time limits and rules for public comment at Committee Meetings.

After an extensive discussion it was determined that the membership was not in support of amending the existing law.

Seven members voted in favor of COC considering uniform rules for public comment at all Meetings.

Those seven members were Keisha Lance Bottoms, Joyce Sheperd, Howard Shook, Alex Wan, Aaron Watson, H. Lamar Willis, and Ivory Lee Young, Jr.

Eight members voted against the COC considering uniform rules for public comment at Committee Meetings.

Those eight members were Yolanda Adrean, Natalyn Archibong, Michael Bond, Kwanza Hall, CT Martin, Felicia Moore, Carla Smith, and Cleta Winslow.

Currently public comment time limits are set or not at the discretion of the Committee Chairs.

According to Roberts Rules of Order, which the Council and its Committees operate under, a Chair's decision may be overruled by a required vote of the membership.

Section 2

That all resolutions and parts hereof, and in conflict herewith, are hereby waived to the extent of the conflict.

(END/2012)


Comments (1)

Said this on 10-12-2013 At 04:58 am

Rotation strategy permitting, Callejón won’t be on the bench much at the San Paolo this season. He has already become untouchable at Napoli.

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