We asked Evodna Springer and Matt Sciba to let us know the results of their meeting with DA Schuyler Marvin regarding the failure of the Bossier City Council to properly keep written minutes of their public Workshop Meetings. Here is an update from Ms. Springer.
On Monday, July 26, 2010, members of the Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party Coordinating Team met with J. Schuyler Marvin, District Attorney for the 26th Judicial District, asking Marvin to intervene in the issue of the Bossier City Council’s repeated failure to keep written minutes of their public Workshop Meetings, as required by the Louisiana Open Meetings Law,
LRS 42:7.1.A. The meeting with the District Attorney was coordinated as a response to the verbal acknowledgment of City Attorney Jimmy Hall that although the Louisiana Open Meetings Law requires written minutes of public meetings, the Council had no written minutes for the Workshop “presentation” on the sewerage issue. Hall’s acknowledgement was made at the 7/6/10 City Council Regular Meeting.
An additional purpose in meeting with District Attorney Marvin concerns a follow up to Hall’s revelation. This follow up consisted of the filing of a formal Public Records Request, which was filed with the Bossier City Council, seeking copies of minutes of all Workshop Meetings held from 1/1/08 through 7/7/10, as well as a titled list of all Workshops which had been held during that time period, the location, date, and time of these Workshops, and who was in attendance. Per this Public Records Request, the Council produced no minutes to any workshop meeting held during that 2 1/5 year time period, nor produced any documentation as to who was in attendance. The few Public Notices of Workshops produced per this Public Records Request concur with the 7/6/10 statements of the Council that the Workshops occurring during this time period were in fact public meetings.
Today, District Attorney Schuyler Marvin made a commitment to the SB Tea Party Coordinating Team to contact City Attorney Jimmy Hall for Hall’s explanation of the matter, with Marvin’s instruction to Hall on City Council compliance with the written minutes mandate of the Louisiana Open Meetings Law.
The Coordinating Team specifically requested from Marvin, written documentation from Marvin of his compliance instruction to the Bossier City Council regarding this issue. Additionally, the Team requested copies of the written response which Marvin receives from the City Attorney regarding this matter. Marvin stated that he would report back to the Team by the end of the week.
With guarded optimism that greater transparency in local government is slowly inching its way toward reality, we appreciate the many people who have encouraged us to stay on course. We will keep you updated.
Shreveport-Bossier Tea Party Coordinating Team