Gordon - HEE HAW - My Bad - Gordon Town Council MeetingRickey Stokes
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Mar 30 2018 9:51 PM
Mayor. Elbert Melton
GORDON: On Thursday evening all members of the Gordon Town Council, to include the indicted Mayor, met. The meeting was called by Council Member Shana Ray.
The meeting notice was posted on the door of Gordon Town Hall on Tuesday before the Thursday meeting. The notice read for an Executive Session.
Mayor Melton and Town Council Members sit in the City Clerk’s Office and discussed what they were going to discuss in the meeting. Town Council Member Shana Ray is reported to have said “ if she was found to have violated any ethics laws she would give up her council seat “. Town Council Member Shana Ray passed out an agenda only to the Mayor and Town Council Members.
The Mayor and Town Council made several motions, seconded motions, could not decide if they made a motion.
Town Council Member Shana Ray’s sister took the Mayor’s cell phone and placed in the chair in the meeting to record.
RSN Matt Boster spoke before the Gordon Town Council the meeting appeared to be against the law. Council Member Shana Ray told him they were going to have the meeting. She further said they had not stopped the meeting before and they should have stopped them then.
Sounds like a potential action to be filed in Circuit Court.
FOLKS.... Hee Haw could not hold a candle to Shana Ray. 😂😂😂
(a) Unless otherwise specified by law and as provided herein, any governmental body subject to this chapter, except for an advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, task force, or other advisory body created solely to make recommendations on public policy issues and composed of persons who do not receive compensation for their service as members of the board, commission, committee, task force, or body from public funds, shall post notice of all meetings, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.1., at least seven calendar days prior to the meeting as follows:
(1) The Alabama Legislature is solely governed by the Alabama Constitution which establishes that the doors of each house of the Alabama Legislature shall be open to the public unless a vote is taken that secrecy is required under the circumstances. The respective houses of the Alabama Legislature shall develop rules consistent with the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, providing for access to and prior notice of all sessions and standing committee and standing subcommittee meetings and all meetings of permanent and joint legislative committees. Because the Alabama Legislature is solely governed by the Alabama Constitution and sets its own rules to ensure public access as guaranteed by the Constitution, no other provision of this chapter applies to the Alabama Legislature.
(2) Any governmental body with statewide jurisdiction shall submit notice of its meeting to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall post the notice on the Internet for at least seven calendar days prior to the day of the meeting. The Secretary of State shall also send electronic mail notifications to anyone who has registered with the Secretary of State to receive notification of meetings. The Secretary of State may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the uniform receipt and posting of notice and of registration for electronic mail notification. The Secretary of State shall provide during regular office hours a computer terminal at a place convenient to the public in the office of the Secretary of State that members of the public may use to view notices of meetings posted by the Secretary of State. Any governmental body with less than statewide jurisdiction may also submit notice to the Secretary of State for posting on the website. Nothing shall prevent a governmental body subject to this subsection from posting notice in any additional manner.
(3) A municipal governmental body shall post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the city hall, provided, however, that a corporation a majority of whose governing board is appointed or elected by a municipality and that has a principal office separate from the city hall may, in lieu of posting notice in the city hall, post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the principal office of the corporation or other instrumentality.
(4) A local school board shall post notice of each meeting on a bulletin board at a place convenient to the public in the central administrative office of the board.
(5) Any other governmental body shall post notice of each meeting in a reasonable location or shall use a reasonable method of notice that is convenient to the public. Any change of the location or method for posting notices of meetings shall not take effect until the change has been approved at an open meeting by the members of the governmental body and announced to the public at an open meeting.
(6) If practicable, a governmental body other than those with statewide jurisdiction, in addition to the posting requirements, shall provide direct notification of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a., to any member of the public or news media covering that governmental body who has registered with the governmental body to receive notification of meetings. A governmental body may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations necessary for the uniform registration and payment for direct notice and for the distribution of the notices. The governmental body may choose to transmit a notice using electronic mail, telephone, facsimile, the United States Postal Service, or any other method reasonably likely to provide the requested notice. The actual cost of issuing notices, if there is one, may be required to be paid in advance by the person requesting notice by the governmental body. Direct notice to persons who have registered with the governmental body shall, at a minimum, contain the time, date, and place of the meeting.
(b) Unless otherwise specified by law directly applicable to the governmental body, notice of a meeting, as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6)a.2. and 3. as well as meetings called pursuant to Section 11-43-50 shall be posted as soon as practicable after the meeting is called and in no event less than 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin, unless such notice (i) is prevented by emergency circumstances requiring immediate action to avoid physical injury to persons or damage to property; or (ii) relates to a meeting to be held solely to accept the resignation of a public official or employee. In such situations, notice shall be given as soon as practical, but in no case less than one hour before the meeting is to begin. At the same time general notice is given, special notice shall be directed to any person who has registered to receive direct notices pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a)(6).
(c) Posted notice pursuant to this section shall include the time, date, and place of meeting. If a preliminary agenda is created, it shall be posted as soon as practicable in the same location or manner as the notice given pursuant to this section. A governmental body may discuss at a meeting additional matters not included in the preliminary agenda. If a preliminary agenda is not available, the posted notice shall include a general description of the nature and purpose of the meeting.
(d) County commissions which provide proper notice in conformance with Section 11-3-8 shall not be required to comply with subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, nor shall committees or subcommittees of such commissions so long as the committees also comply with the notice procedures applicable to the full commission in Section 11-3-8.
(e) Governmental bodies may give, but shall not be required to give, notice of quasi-judicial or contested case hearings which could properly be conducted as an executive session under this chapter or existing state law.
(f) A governmental body is authorized, but not required, to provide notice in addition to that specified in this section and to provide notice for gatherings which are not meetings as defined in Section 36-25A-2(6).
(Act 2005-40, p. 55, §3; Act 2015-340, §1.)
Enforcement; hearings; penalties and remedies.
(a) This chapter is designed and intended to hold members of governmental bodies, and the bodies themselves, accountable to the public for violations of this chapter. Therefore, enforcement of this chapter, except a violation of Section 26-25A-3(a)(1), may be sought by civil action brought in the county where the governmental body's primary office is located by any media organization, any Alabama citizen impacted by the alleged violation to an extent which is greater than the impact on the pubic at large, the Attorney General, or the district attorney for the circuit in which the governmental body is located; provided, however, that no member of a governmental body may serve as a plaintiff in an action brought against another member of the same governmental body for an alleged violation of this chapter. The complaint shall be verified, shall state specifically the applicable ground or grounds for the complaint as set out in subdivisions (1) through (4) of subsection (b), and shall name in their official capacity all members of the governmental body remaining in attendance at the alleged meeting held in violation of this chapter. If filed by an Alabama citizen, the complaint shall state specifically how the person is or will be impacted by the alleged violation to an extent which is greater than the impact on the public at large. Members of a governmental body who are named as a defendant in a complaint under this chapter shall serve an initial response to the complaint within seven business days of personal service of the complaint. A preliminary hearing on the complaint filed shall be held no later than 10 business days after the date of the filing of the defendant or defendants' initial response to the complaint or, if no response is filed, no later than 17 business days after the filing of the complaint, or on the nearest day thereafter as the court shall fix, having regard to the speediest possible determination of the cause consistent with the rights of the parties.
(b) In the preliminary hearing on the complaint, the plaintiff shall establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a meeting of the governmental body occurred and that each defendant attended the meeting. Additionally, to establish a prima facie case the plaintiff must present substantial evidence of one or more of the following claims:
(1) That the defendants disregarded the requirements for proper notice of the meeting pursuant to the applicable methods set forth in Section 36-25A-3.
(2) That the defendants disregarded the provisions of this chapter during a meeting, other than during an executive session.
(3) That the defendants voted to go into executive session and while in executive session the defendants discussed matters other than those subjects included in the motion to convene an executive session as required by Section 36-25A-7(b).
(4) That, other than a claim under subdivisions (1) through (3), the defendants intentionally violated other provisions of this chapter.
(c) If the court finds that the plaintiff has met its initial burden of proof as required in subsection (b) at the preliminary hearing, the court shall establish a schedule for discovery and set the matter for a hearing on the merits. If, at the preliminary hearing, the plaintiff has presented its prima facie case that an executive session appears to have been improperly conducted as set out in subsection (b)(3), the defendants shall bear the burden of proof at the hearing on the merits to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the discussions during the executive session were limited to matters related to the subjects included in the motion to convene an executive session required in Section 36-25A-7(a).
(d) During a proceeding involving claims brought under subsection (b)(3), the court shall conduct an in camera proceeding or adopt another procedure as necessary to protect the confidentiality of the matters discussed during the executive session, and if there is a determination that the executive session was authorized by this chapter, the matters shall not be disclosed or utilized in any other legal proceeding by any individual or attorney who attends the in camera portion of the proceedings.
(e) Upon proof by a preponderance of the evidence of a defendant's violation of this chapter, the circuit court shall issue an appropriate final order including, if appropriate, a declaratory judgment or injunction. Prior to a final determination of the merits, temporary restraining orders or preliminary injunctions may be issued upon proper motion and proof as provided and required in the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure. A final order on the merits shall be issued within 60 days after the preliminary hearing unless a longer period is consented to by all parties and the court.
(f) The court may invalidate the action or actions taken during a meeting held in violation of this chapter, provided that the complaint is filed within 21 days of the date when the action is made public, the violation was not the result of mistake, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, and invalidation of the governmental action taken would not unduly prejudice third parties who have changed their position or taken action in good faith reliance upon the challenged action of the governmental body; provided further, however, that any action taken at an open meeting conducted in a manner consistent with this chapter shall not be invalidated because of a violation of this chapter which occurred prior to such meeting.
(g) A final order issued against a defendant shall state specifically upon which claim or claims in subdivisions (1) through (4) the ruling is based. For each meeting proven to be held in violation of this chapter for one or more reasons, the court shall impose a civil penalty payable to the plaintiff(s). The maximum penalty for each meeting shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) or one half of the defendant's monthly salary for service on the governmental body, whichever is less. The minimum penalty shall be one dollar ($1). With regard to claims related to improper discussions during executive sessions, monetary penalties may only be assessed against defendant members of a governmental body who voted to go into an executive session and who remained in the executive session during a discussion determined by the court not to have been authorized by this chapter. Penalties imposed against a member of a governmental body found to have acted in violation of this chapter shall not be paid by nor reimbursed to the member by the governmental body he or she serves. If more than one cause of action is filed pursuant to this chapter, all causes of action based on or arising out of the same alleged violation or violations shall be consolidated into the action that was first filed and any party may intervene into the consolidated action pursuant to the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure, and no member found to have acted in violation of this chapter by a final court order and assessed a penalty as authorized herein shall be subject to further liability or penalty to the same or different plaintiffs in separate causes of action for the same violation or violations.
(h) A governmental body is authorized to pay for or provide for the legal expenses of present or former members of the body named as defendants in a proceeding under this chapter.
(Act 2005-40, p. 55, §9; Act 2015-340, §1.)