Stark Co. (ECWd) -
Near the end of the illegal Stark County Board meeting Thursday night, we find once again the value of video and follow up. Below is a short clip we pulled from the main video which can be viewed at this link and what this video will expose is explained within the rest of this article.
A picture was taken by the Stark County News, which was published in this article that clearly shows me speaking with three Board members before the meeting started. The Chairman of the Board or Chairwoman for those worried about political correctness, member J. Thomas Howes, and member Robin Lindner were all involved in the discussion.
During that conversation, I attempted to inform them of numerous problems of which one was this was a Special Meeting and they insist it was not. I emphasize, they insisted it was not so please remember that point! Member Lindner implied that I did not know what I was talking about during her failed attempt to tell me the adopted public comment resolution forbid me from speaking when, in fact, it was different than the policy available on the website for the public. You can compare them yourself. (Public Comment Police from Website compare to Public Comment Resolution adopted by the Board). She insisted the one I downloaded was not their policy and told me I was wrong. More on the public comment policy in another article as it is filled with inappropriate restrictions.
In the video, you will notice board member Robin Lindner, who appears to think she knows everything, gets up and shares something with the Chairman. Immediately, the Chairman takes to the microphone and starts announcing "this is a reconvened meeting, this is a reconvened meeting, it's not a regular meeting, it's a reconvened meeting". We suspect, but can't validate; member Lindner shared something with the Chair to get her to make the false statement.
Yes, her statement was false!
False, because 7 of the board members, to include the three that insisted this was not a special meeting, signed the very document requesting a, ....drum roll please, SPECIAL MEETING!
How can these people straight-up lie to the public and tell them it was not a special meeting when the fact is they signed their names to a document calling for it? Or, is it possible this document was created after the fact to provide cover for their failure to follow the county code which requires this document to call a special meeting? More on that in another article as the facts are becoming most interesting!
They should resign!
For those not familiar with the difference between a rescheduled meeting and a reconvened meeting, know that there is a legal difference, and it is based on how the last meeting was terminated or suspended, and posting and notice requirements are different.
Public notice of any special meeting except a meeting held in the event of a bona fide emergency, or of any rescheduled regular meeting, or of any reconvened meeting, shall be given at least 48 hours before such meeting, which notice shall also include the agenda for the special, rescheduled, or reconvened meeting, but the validity of any action taken by the public body which is germane to a subject on the agenda shall not be affected by other errors or omissions in the agenda. The requirement of public notice of reconvened meetings does not apply to any case where the meeting was open to the public and (1) it is to be reconvened within 24 hours, or (2) an announcement of the time and place of the reconvened meeting was made at the original meeting and there is no change in the agenda.
- A regular meeting is one that is predetermined at the beginning of the year where the public body sets their schedule for regular meetings.
- A rescheduled meeting is one that stems from any meeting that was either canceled or not held for lack of a quorum.
- A special meeting is one that is held at a time and place that is not a regular meeting and requested by one-third of the board members or the chair if they are elected at large as Chair in the case of County Government.
- A reconvened meeting is when the business was not finished and they recess to an announced time and place for the meeting to reconvene and use the same agenda.
In this case, the meeting prior to this special meeting, the video confirms it was adjourned, not recessed to be reconvened at another time. Although they may have intended to recess and reconvened based on the use of the same agenda, OMA requires the time and place to be announced at the meeting and the record is clear, the time announced for the next meeting at the adjourned meeting, which was part of the motion to adjourn, was for 7 pm. This was not the time the special meeting was called for in their own document.
Procedure, had they recessed the meeting and announced the correct time and place of the "reconvened meeting", used the same agenda, then that meeting would have been a reconvened meeting. They adjourned and the time announced for the next meeting was not the time the next meeting was held.
Nevermind the fact their own paperwork shows seven board members asking for a special meeting.