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Williams: Blackwell, others, broke state freedom of information laws

Nearly three weeks after four members of York County Council were seen eating dinner at a restaurant by a local reporter following a public budget workshop, one man seeking a seat on council is contending council members are holding, “secret, after hours meetings,” — and says they need to stop.

Andrew Kiel | WRHI.com
Gary Williams, who is seeking to oust York County Council Council Chairman Britt Blackwell, told WRHI Thursday that Blackwell’s May 9 dinner at the White Horse with three other councilmen broke state Freedom of Information laws.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Blackwell said Thursday that he and the other council members in question did not break state law, because they weren’t discussing county business.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Williams said that Blackwell is saying one thing — and doing another — when it comes to openness. “Transparency is and will always be the taxpayers’ best defense against and corrupt and inefficient government,” Williams said.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Blackwell said that May 9 meeting isn’t the first time that council members have ever met in a private setting.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

State Freedom of Information Laws state that any meeting that constitutes a quorum — in this case four members — must be advertised to the public and the press.

The law specifically states that any social gatherings outside of public meetings may not be used to circumvent the state statute.

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