Proper notice needed for meetings

Published 8:59 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

Recently, House Bill 1116 took effect. This bill from the state legislature requires public entities to provide at least one hour’s notice in advance of special called meetings.

Media and individuals who have opted-in to be notified must be notified via email.

An hour’s notice is not much time.

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This new law is certainly an improvement, however, over previous requirements which simply said a written notice must be posted on a bulletin board at the place where the meeting would occur.

We understand that not all special called meetings can wait days or weeks before they are held, allowing for more than adequate publication of the upcoming meeting. If the meeting could wait, then why not wait until a regulary-scheduled meeting instead of having a special called one?

But public entities need to keep in mind that it is their responsibility to report to the public. Every reasonable effort should be taken to see that the public is informed ahead of time in an adequate manner.

Time and trial and error may be the only way to figure out the best methods for this, but we certainly hope that our city and county officials and all public entities of Brookhaven and Lincoln County will keep the public in mind as special called meetings come about.