|WAS THE SUNSHINE LAW USED TO CENSOR COUNCIL MEMBERS?|
11/19/2008 12:22 AM
RCCAM Meeting Tampa -- Your opinion: Written presentation would violate
listened quite a few times to the recording of the RCCAM meeting in
the discussion about allowing or disallowing council member Terence
Brennan to make a presentation titled:
"PROPOSALS FOR RESTORING TRUST IN
CAM LICENSES" took 28 minutes, including a 5-minute break that lasted
10 minutes. In my opinion it
was a waste of valuable meeting time caused by your opinion that allowing
this presentation to be made would violate the Sunshine Law.
me to ask how you came up with that interpretation?
I hope you were not just shooting from the hip and that you have
more factual legal reasons to back up your opinion than what you stated in
the ensuing discussion? Even
after Mr. Benson quoted the Florida Attorney General Advisory Legal
Opinion Number: AGO 75-305, subject: Acting on matter not on agenda, you
insisted on being correct.
would like to give you the opportunity to offer me any good reasons
why you opined that this presentation would violate the Sunshine Law
before going public with this matter. Considering that Mr. Brennan
had asked DBPR staff that such an agenda item should be included on the
agenda in the first place, your action can only be construed as trying to
censor a council member, especially if certain people don't want to hear
what Mr. Brennan has to say.
for your information: As a member of the HOA Task Force, created by
Governor Jeb Bush in 2003, we listened to many presentations of Task Force
members, who distributed these presentations as well in writing.
We considered it good policy, because we were able to take this
"opinion" home and come well prepared to the next meeting for
your info: A member of the AG's office was a HOA Task Force member, there
was always minimum one DBPR attorney present to oversee procedure, and 7
(seven) more attorneys served as HOA Task Force members.
Never even an argument about violating the Sunshine Law.
And I can assure you that the agendas didn't list items like :
Presentation by Task Force member (name)....!
was only once an argument about me distributing a written document to the
HOA Task Force members. This
argument was caused by two attorneys who objected that I handed every
member the copy of a malpractice lawsuit filed against one of these
attorneys. The dispute was
decided in my favor.
much as I understand that some opinions and written presentations may be
disliked by some, the Sunshine Law should be the last thing used to hamper
free speech and hinder open discussions.
maybe the Council members should bring a friend to the meetings to make
these kinds of presentations in order to avoid violating the Sunshine Law,
as interpreted by you?
looking forward to hearing from you if you have some legal quotes
available that would back up your "opinion" that the
presentation would have violated the Sunshine Law before we bring this
issue to the attention of our Governor and the
11/21/2008 12:06 PM
advised the Council not to consider information that was not on the
agenda. Mr. Brennan, a new
member, brought a lengthy document that he wanted to distribute and talk
about. The 2008
prepared by the Office of the Attorney General, quotes AGO 03-
concern that it be allowed advance notice and, therefore, meaningful
issues coming before the commission." 2008 Sunshine Manual @ 41.
in that instance and the case cited, Yarborough v. Young, 462 So.2d 515
(Fla. 1st DCA 1985)
that either Council Members or the Public would like the Council to
address at its next meeting. I
(No Signature on attached pdf file)