There's more to story about council's procedures

February 15, 2013

The article in the Feb. 5 edition about how Sussex County Council operates was really good, but here are some other facts worth considering.

In the rules of procedure there are some things not permitted by the Freedom Of Information Act and rulings by the Delaware Attorney General. For one, an item may not be added to the agenda during a meeting. If an item needs to be put on the agenda the requirement is the agenda most be reposted at least six hours prior to a meeting and a reason given as to why the item was not available seven days in advance of the meeting. This is according to FOIA and the attorney general.

While no notice has to be given for emergency meetings when public safety or health is at risk, according to Delaware law concerning special meetings, the Sussex Clerk of the Peace must notify each elected official of a governing body of any special meeting.

During the council's public comment portion of the meeting, when a member of the public brings an item to the attention of county council, council members are not permitted to discuss the item or vote on the matter if it is not on the agenda. Once again, that's part of FOIA.

State law provides for how ordinances are written and introduced. The council's rules of procedure does not follow this chapter of state law.

Dan Kramer

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