PCC changes agendas to comply with Open Meetings law

 

By ERIC KLUMP

 

The Pima Community College Board of Governors changed how its meeting agendas are written after finding it had been violating Arizona’s Open Meetings law.

 

The changes came after a complaint by community member Mary Schuh during the Sept. 21 BOG meeting.

 

Schuh, who attends meetings on behalf of the Pima Association of Taxpayers, claimed PCC did not provide sufficient information in its agendas.

 

She said it would be hard for the public to understand what would happen at meetings based only on the agenda listings.

 

The agendas had been written as two- or three-word bullet points since the 1970s. College officials said they thought the format complied with Open Meetings law requirements.

 

“It was disgraceful,” Schuh said, adding she was surprised that no one had spotted the issue before.

 

Schuh also registered her complaint with the Pima County Attorney’s Office, which instructed PCC to make its agenda listings more comprehensive.

 

PCC spokesman C.J. Karamargin said the agendas were written in a format similar to those used by other community colleges in the state.

 

“Once contacted by the Pima County Attorney’s Office, we responded very quickly to the recommendations made,” Karamargin said.

 

Karamargin said the college wants to have transparency and will react quickly to situations such as the open meeting complaint.

 

FYI

 

All 50 states and the federal government have some form of an open meetings law. Arizona enacted its law in 1962.

 

Key provisions of the Arizona Open Meetings Law include:

 

  • All meetings of any public body shall be open to any member of the public that wishes to attend. Specific exceptions apply.
  • All meetings that are performed by a public body shall have an open agenda providing a reasonable amount of information about what is to be discussed.

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