Meeting Minutes Lost

In trying to recall some of the work done by DeKalb’s Citizens Environmental Commission, I arranged last week with the DeKalb City Clerk to look at two years’ worth of its meeting minutes. This should easily have been accomplished by my browsing regular council meeting agenda packets, but only the minutes of a half-dozen Enviro meetings had been turned in to be received and filed by the council. Whereabouts of the others were uncertain so I had to make a formal FOIA request to locate the rest.

Yesterday I received another half-dozen minutes as a result of the FOIA request. These were never seen, at least officially, by the council. At least another 8-10 are completely MIA. I did find one set of minutes in my “sent” e-mail box that I’d taken in June 2008 in the Enviro secretary’s absence and forwarded to both the outgoing chair and the new. Somehow these minutes were never turned in.

This is not a new problem. The city’s Economic Development Committee hasn’t turned in minutes for Council to look at in years (though in the case of EDC, they at least can be located).

Beyond the sloppiness, I wonder about Open Meetings Act implications.