Scio Township approves the backlog of meeting notes after thousands of hours and dollars spent
SCIO TOWNSHIP, MI - Faced with a seemingly impossible to reach a consensus on what should be included in the minutes, from scandalous meetings dating back to August, Scio Township leaders elected to include it all.
On Tuesday, December 28, they voted unanimously to approve 15 meeting minutes, many amid some board members' complaints that they weren't accurate or impartial.
The ultimate solution? Spend more than $7,000 on word-for-word transcriptions of the meetings, which will be filed with the approved minutes.
With thousands of hours and dollars spent on this topic, according to Township Clerk Jessica Flintoft, the board finally succeeded in eliminating a persistent thorn in its side that has dogged the public body for months.
A minimum of votes and decisions have been made at the meeting, but since late August, the meeting hasn't been finished. In some cases, the minutes were not ready by the board's next meeting, while others were criticised for accuracy.
Flintoft pointed to a massive number of special sessions this fall, stating that she gave their reports for review at every regular board meeting, in line with the community's recent practices. The votes to the tables came from requests from the clerk that colleagues present specific adjustments to the documents, a process some board members argued was not practical.
Residents of Michigans Attorney General General complained to some about state's, measure intended to assure transparency in government, requesting an official investigation.
The minutes of a special meeting on August 17, where township leaders decided in a split vote to double Hathaway's salary to $72,000, he said.
Hathaway said the vote was a nonsense, and that it was inappropriate and that the township has denied in legal filings. (On Tuesday, Hathaway said he would honor the recent recommendation of a township commission that his salary be reduced to $40,000 by donating the balance back to the township beginning in January.)
In the midst of efforts to halt a minutes event, new legal advice is coming.
With the assistance of.
Rowley's suggestion to clear the havoc, he said at the meeting, consisted of putting a court reporter in charge of all of the meetings' documents, attaching the document to the approved minutes.
Officials said on Tuesday that the board would spend up to $8,500 on the work.
According to the demand, a municipality attorney who is specializing in municipal law voted to retain his leadership on December 28 to keep up with a demand for legal services.
Homier, who was at the meeting on Tuesday, offered legal advice that was putting months of discussion over how to correct meetings meetings into a trap.
The Open Meetings Act allows you one occasion to correct the minutes, and it's the meeting after the meeting at which the minutes were taken, he told the board.
When would-be people have done this before, ask your Trustee Kathleen Knol, asking her if she knew how to correct or modify the minutes following the meeting.
Homier said: That's right.
Flintoft, the clerk for the township, asked if attaching the complete transcript was appropriate for rectifying the minutes, holding up a thick stack of paper containing every word spoken at one of the August meetings.
As Rowley suggested, Homier replied, adding the transcript would not be considered a correction, as the courts have previously found that meeting recordings are part of the minutes, assuming theyre stored according to a retention policy.
As the meeting drew to an end, township leaders voting repeatedly in unanimous manner to approve the minutes with transcripts attached, some elected officials wondered what would keep the board from landing themselves in this position again.
Jacqueline Courteau, a trustee who first addressed the issues with the documents in September, said she regretted not seeing Clerk Flintoft making any efforts to "streamline" the minutes, providing for a more efficient review and approval.
I really believe strongly in free speech, especially in the right of the public to criticize the government, thats us, replied Flintoft, saying she is not open to creating more minimalist moments until the board resolves issues around approving the documents and including public comment.
Flintoft said, All I can say is that its an exceptional disagreement.
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