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Watchdog: All public meetings should be recorded



Editor:

A recent news story in a local paper was about a remark made by a Licking County Commissioner during a public meeting. The remark was about what he would like to see happen to one of the presidential candidates.

Commission President Tim Bubb was quoted as saying that he didn’t think the other commissioner “meant it to be a statement on the record.” Bubb went on to say that he recognized the meeting was a public session and that they are “not necessarily making statements for the greater world.”

Licking County Commissioner meetings are not recorded but should be…not necessarily to engrave in history a statement that wasn’t intended to be “on the record’…but to make sure that the minutes of the meetings are correct! An example is the July 12th minutes in which the Commissioners’ administrative assistant, Bev Adzic notes that the meeting opened at 9 a.m. and Tim Bubb voted to suspend the reading of the previous minutes when later in the same minutes she notes that Bubb didn’t join the meeting until 10:40 a.m.

I believe ALL public meetings should be recorded. Believe me, it only takes about five minutes before public officials forget they’re being recorded and still say things they probably shouldn’t. But the meetings are PUBLIC meetings and we should be able to know what goes on in a public meeting if we don’t have the opportunity to attend.

Meetings in Kirkersville are recorded but when I requested a copy of a recording from a council meeting, Clerk Shirley Roskoski told me, “I will have to find a company that makes copies and the cost will be passed on to you.” An Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion from 2008 (2008- 019) says that an “audio recording must be made available for public inspection and copying.”

According to public records in Kirkersville, a total of 1033 tickets were issued between the dates of January 1, 2015 and June 22, 2016. That’s an average of less than 60 tickets per month. Since Kirkersville now has only about four police officers, I expect that number to decrease quite a bit in the next few months.

More numbers next week…

Bonnie Mansfield
Buckeye Lake



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