•Sunshine Request: Notice of Ruth Park Driving Range Committee Meeting


Sunshine Request: Request for a copy of the Notice of the Meeting of the Ruth Park

 Driving Range Committee Meeting


From: Tom Sullivan [mailto:tsullivan@sullivanadv.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 11:01 AM
To: Joyce Pumm
Cc: Shelley Welsch; Terry Crow; Stephen Kraft; Michael Glickert; Lynn Ricci (external); Byron Price; Arthur Sharpe
Subject: Request for Records

 
04/27/11
 
TO:  Joyce Pumm
FR:  Tom Sullivan
RE:  Request for Records
 
This is to request a copy of the notice for tonight’s meeting of the Ruth Park committee, which was supposedly formed to look into the future of the driving range in the park. The committee is subject to the requirements of the Open Meetings and Records Act, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law. See 610.010(4), RSMo. If a notice has not been posted, any meeting held this evening would be in violation of the law. Thank you for your assistance.
 
Copy: Mayor Welsch &  Members of the Council


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From: Joyce Pumm <jpumm@ucitymo.org>
Subject: City Clerk response to Request for Records Tom Sullivan
To: "Tom Sullivan" <tsullivan@sullivanadv.net>
Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 4:14 PM


Mr. Sullivan
 
I am in receipt of your Sunshine request and will supply you with an answer as soon as I hear from the City Attorney.
 
Joyce Pumm
City Clerk


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From: Tom Sullivan [mailto:tsullivan@sullivanadv.net]
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:42 PM
To: Joyce Pumm
Cc: Shelley Welsch; Terry Crow; Stephen Kraft; Michael Glickert; Lynn Ricci (external); Byron Price; Arthur Sharpe
Subject: Re: City Clerk response to Request for Records Tom Sullivan

 
Ms. Pumm,
 
I know of no instance where it has ever been deemed that the kind of committee like the Ruth Park committee is not subject to the Sunshine Law.
 
It states in 610.010(4), RSMo, that a “Public governmental body” is among other things:
 
(c) Any department or division of the state, of any political subdivision of the state, of any county or of any municipal government . . . “
 
It further states:
 
(e) Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities and which is authorized to report to any of the above-named entities, any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the named entities for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the public governmental body's governing board or its chief administrative officer . . . “
 
So given this, it is clear the committee is subject to the Sunshine Law. I would suggest Mr. Mulligan contact the Attorney General’s office if he has any questions. Regardless, my request was for a copy of the meeting notice. That does not require a legal opinion. Either you have it or you don't.
 
--Tom Sullivan


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From: Tom Sullivan [mailto:tsullivan@sullivanadv.net]
Subject: Request for Records
Date: April 28, 2011 2:24:43 PM CDT
To:
Joyce Pumm <jpumm@ucitymo.org>
To: mayor@ucitymo.org, crow@cttlaw.net, kraftstephene@gmail.com, lmglickert@yahoo.com, ricci.ucity@gmail.com, pricebyron@hotmail.com, qforlifeasj@att.net
   
    
04/28/11
 
TO:  Joyce Pumm
FR:  Tom Sullivan
RE:  Request for Records
 
This is to request a copy of meeting notices for the Ruth Park committee, which was supposedly formed to look into the future of the driving range in the park, for all meetings held prior to last night's meeting. I made a request yesterday for a copy of the notice for the meeting held last night. You have so far failed to either produce the notice or say whether it exists.
 
Also, I am requesting all agendas for the Ruth Park committee meetings, all minutes for the meetings and copies of materials provided to committee members.
 
In addition, I am requesting copies of all e-mails, sent or received regarding the committee or its proceedings, by Mayor Shelley Welsch, City Manager Lehman Walker, any Council Member, Interim Parks Director Ewald Winkler or any other person employed by the City of University or on any board or commission of the City. As Custodian of Records, you should have retained all such records.
 
The committee is at all times subject to requirements of the Open Meetings  and Records Act, commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law. Below is a link to Missouri Attorney General's Opinion No. 143-2003. The summary states in part:
 
1. A citizen's advisory committee established by a city to make recommendations concerning city policy . . . is a public governmental body and therefore, must keep a journal or minutes of its meetings, keep a record of its votes, and make its meetings and records open to the public . . . "
 
As mentioned, I know of no instance where a citizens committee of any type, which was formed by a city or political subdivision of the state, was deemed to be exempt from the Sunshine Law.
 
I might note there is a posting after a University City Patch article by Editor Myra Lopez, claiming the Ruth Park committee is not subject to the Sunshine Law. The claimed source is the Sunshine Law Coordinator of the Attorney General's office. The Attorney General's office disavows any such statement or opinion. The AG's office provides guidance to anyone seeking its help but opinions are only provided when formally requested by certain public officials.
 
I would expect this request be met in a timely manner. The City of University City is no doubt one of the worst offenders in the state when it comes to complying with the Sunshine Law. When the State Auditor returns in a few months, I doubt he will see any improvements.
 
Thank you for your assistance.  ***
 
 
Copy: Mayor Welsch,  Members of the Council, City Manager Walker
 
 
Attorney General's Opinion No. 143-2003
http://ago.mo.gov/opinions/2003/143-2003.htm


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From: Joyce Pumm <jpumm@ucitymo.org>
Subject: RE: City Clerk response to Request for Records Tom Sullivan
To: "Tom Sullivan" <tsullivan@sullivanadv.net>
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 2:50 PM


Mr. Sullivan
 
I do not have a meeting notice.
 
Joyce Pumm
City Clerk


From: Tom Sullivan [mailto:tsullivan@sullivanadv.net]
Subject:  RE: City Clerk response to Request for Records Tom Sullivan
Date: April 28, 2011 4:08:28 PM CDT
To: mayor@ucitymo.org, crow@cttlaw.net, kraftstephene@gmail.com, lmglickert@yahoo.com, ricci.ucity@gmail.com, pricebyron@hotmail.com, qforlifeasj@att.net
Cc: lwalker@ucitymo.org


Mayor Welsch & Members of the Council:
 
Chalk up another violation of the Sunshine Law . . . it looks like there will be more to come.
 
--Tom Sullivan



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