This week a city council met for its regular meeting, and an item that needed discussion was whether to pay its contribution to a metro-wide planning organization. During the citizen comment portion of the meeting, the council listened to a speaker as to reasons they should contribute and urged them to make that decision at this meeting, because the payment had to be made prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the council.
The council noted that it had a planning session scheduled in the interim and considered discussing this issue at that session. Instead, it went into closed meeting for previously scheduled matters, then came out into an unscheduled resumption of the open meeting to take up the issue of whether to make that contribution. (Hmmmm. I wonder if this came up during the closed meeting when it wasn't an agenda item and, in fact, didn't even fit under the exception which was cited as the reason for the closed meeting? How in the world did the body decide to take this up in a resumption of the open meeting? I assume it was just some miracle of fate. Yeah. Sure.)
Anyway, during this resumed meeting, which of course no members of the public attended because they had no idea it was occurring, the council voted to make its contribution to the metro-wide body.
But was that resumed open meeting proper? Well, did the body cite in its minutes "the nature of the good cause justifying that departure from the normal requirements" of notice of open meetings and the amendment of the agenda? One cannot help but wonder.
AND, in addition, one cannot help but wonder how there could have been an emergency justifying such a departure when the body had already indicated it had another meeting scheduled for a few days later, at which it could have properly taken up this agenda item, following proper notice, and have done what needed to be done within the perimeters of the sunshine law?
I'm sure there's some excuse. There's always an excuse. But is the cause "good cause" or just a feeble excuse? I sent the reporter to check, because the public has a right to know. Bodies may complain that reporters don't come to meetings, but when they sneak the meetings in after they've indicated they are done, that's hardly fair. In fact, it's illegal!