Mayor Mike's Dinner With Council Ain't Open

Mayor Mike's Dinner With Council Ain't Open
Photo by Mark Graham

A couple of times, including this morning, we've noted that Mayor Mike Rawlings has scheduled a dinner with the entire city council on Tuesday, which has prompted a few Friends of Unfair Park to wonder: Like, isn't that a violation of the state's Open Meetings Act? Technically, no. Says the act, the term "meeting ... does not include the gathering of a quorum of a governmental body at a social function unrelated to the public business that is conducted by the body." And, as Mayor Mike's chief of staff, Paula Blackmon says, "This is purely a social event."

Blackmon, who was deputy chief under Tom Leppert, reminds that Rawlings's predecessor held annual Christmas parties with the council that were also "purely social in nature." To that end, she says, City Attorney Tom Perkins will circulate a memo amongst the council reminding them to keep it casual.

I know, I know: What's to stop council members from talking shop? "Take it up with the Legislature," Blackmon says. "But Mary Suhm and Tom Perkins will be there, as will spouses, and it's purely social in nature. But we made sure no violation of the Open Meetings Act had occured." So you're saying it's social, then.

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