Virtual Open Meetings

The jumping off discussion area for the rest of the Deck. All things Lakewood.
Please check out our other sections. As we refile many discussions from the past into
their proper sections please check them out and offer suggestions.

Moderators: Jim DeVito, Dan Alaimo

Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:17 pm

The New Virtual Open Meetings Ordinance

Here is the new Ordinance 02-2022:

The Virtual Open Meetings Ordinance.pdf
(984.55 KiB) Downloaded 47 times


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:19 pm

The Virtual Open Meetings Letter

Virtual Open Meetings.jpg
Virtual Open Meetings.jpg (451.73 KiB) Viewed 1724 times


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:25 pm

Ordinance 02 2022 at Page One

Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page One.jpg
Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page One.jpg (333.08 KiB) Viewed 1722 times


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:38 pm

Ordinance 02 2022 at Page Two

Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page Two.jpg
Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page Two.jpg (352.3 KiB) Viewed 1715 times


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:50 pm

Ordinance No. 02 2022 at Page Three

At this time, my conclusion is that this is not a temporary enactment and is now a permanent feature of our local government structure when signed.

Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page Three.jpg
Ordinance No. 02 2022 Page Three.jpg (74.57 KiB) Viewed 1712 times


Stan Austin
Contributor
Posts: 2450
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Stan Austin » Thu Jan 20, 2022 6:19 pm

But still-- what is the essence of your observation or objection?


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:12 am

My observation is that the severity of the Covid-19 Pandemic has just led to a major change in how residents of Lakewood will participate in their government at a very fundamental level.

Whether this is ultimately a favorable development rests in the future.

A residents' access to basic governmental processes protected by State statute (Ohio Open Meetings Laws) has now been changed permanently.

For a lawyer like myself this requires some contemplation. I'm not going to rush into this. I'd be more than happy to talk with you.


Richard Baker
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Richard Baker » Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:05 pm

I reminded the City recently that virtual meetings only were illegal and notified the AG office. In fact all the meetings that were held since July 1, 2021 were illegal and the business conducted is questionable and may be challenged. Since the notification they are complying with the open meetings act. Lakewood can pass all the ordnances they want about virtual but the City must comply with the State Statues, the city government exist at the whim of the State. The state pass a bill that effective July 1, 2021, public bodies can no longer meet virtually and satisfy the Open Meetings Act.


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:20 am

Article on Time, Manner, Place Restrictions

My good friend, CSU law professor, Kevin O'Neill, an expert on the First Amendment discusses these issues in the linked article for non-lawyer readers.

https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/ar ... strictions

The pre-meeting "credentialing" reflected in the agenda for the most recent city council agenda may, if abused, illustrate the risks of prior restraint on free speech with the application of new media, like WebEx, Zoom, or Loop.

Mr. Baker's observation are focused and hit the nail on the head.

Once again, Lakewood City Government is prepared to push the envelope on open meetings compliance despite a very recent history of public interest litigation for earlier violations.


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:41 pm

One For The Lawyers

If this session was held virtually and the State of Ohio no longer permits virtual public meetings, how is the subsequent selection of this candidate not vulnerable to a strong legal challenge?

Pages from DOC-01-18-22 with highlight.jpg
Pages from DOC-01-18-22 with highlight.jpg (232.68 KiB) Viewed 1489 times


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:49 pm

Finally Let's Be Clear

There is nothing in the recently amended City Charter that even remotely permits virtual governmental proceedings, despite the fact that most of the technologies listed in Ordinance No. 02 2022 existed and could have been added as charter amendments in the Third Amended Charter.

The City's Home Rule powers do not permit it to legislate around the Ohio Open Meetings laws.


Stan Austin
Contributor
Posts: 2450
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 12:02 pm
Contact:

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Stan Austin » Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:00 pm

I am getting confused. Does a virtual meeting assume the absence of a live meeting which is open to the public?


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:04 am

Stan -- You are going to have to address your question to your councilperson. I don't know what "means" they are actually using now.

The plain language of Ordinance No. 02 2022, in my reading, permits all public bodies of Lakewood municipal government to declare emergencies and substitute other activities for actual physical meetings when physical meetings would ordinarily be called.

The other activities are listed in the ordinance and I am using the common term "virtual" to describe such alternatives.

I am still attempting to learn more about what is actually going on.


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:39 pm

Everything Is Already An "Emergency" Isn't It?

If you take a look at Lakewood City Council minutes, you will see that everything that is passed has been passed under existing emergency authority and, I mean, for years.

With respect to the new ordinance (No. 02 2022), who declares the "emergency" or the "special circumstances"? The ordinance is silent.

And, just what are "special circumstances"?


Mark Kindt
Posts: 2518
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:06 am

Re: Virtual Open Meetings

Postby Mark Kindt » Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:04 pm

From The Ohio Attorney General's Website

"Effective July 1, 2021, all public bodies that are subject to Ohio’s Open Meetings Act should have begun meeting in person again. Members of the public body must be present in person to be counted as part of the public body’s quorum and to vote on any issue considered at the meeting. Further, all meetings of a public body must be open for the public to attend in person. Public bodies may continue to broadcast or livestream meetings, so long as the public still has the option of attending the meeting in person. The Ohio Attorney General’s Sunshine Law Manual (available here) provides a complete rundown of the Open Meetings Act and the duties and obligations of a public body. For specific legal advice, be sure to consult with your legal counsel."

Here is the link:

https://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Med ... ly-2021-(1)/Open-Meetings-Update-Now-where-are-we#:~:text=In%202020%2C%20with%20the%20COVID,121.22).



Return to “Lakewood General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 26 guests