Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keystone Council Meanders through Tuesday Meeting; Discussions of Sunshine Law, Skateboard Park Vote Take Up a Lot of Time

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keystone Council Meanders through Tuesday Meeting; Discussions of Sunshine Law, Skateboard Park Vote Take Up a Lot of Time

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNE SPONHOLTZ

Tuesday's Keystone Heights City Council meeting was much like a sailboat -- constantly off course. Nearly two hours into the meeting, the city attorney's report, staff reports and the consent agenda had not been visited and still in the wings were the agenda items of council members.

Newly elected council member Don Johnson used the meeting as a chance to get his feet wet and learn some of the ins and outs of the government's procedures. Johnson questioned aspects regarding the job of the city planner, advertising costs of public notices and the ramifications of Florida's Sunshine State Law in being able to conduct the city's business.

The law calls for open meetings and limits private discussions between members of a public body. Johnson said he could not imagine how any business could function without being able to discuss matters on a regular basis. He questioned if some discussion was not permissible.

"It seems restrictive," Johnson said.

City Attorney Rob Bradley addressed Johnson's concerns, stating the law applies to anything the council discusses.

Johnson said it seemed that more meetings are therefore needed in order to hammer out the many issues facing the council.

Meanwhile, veteran council member Keith Jones brought to the floor an ongoing issue that had been voted on during a special meeting. Jones said he was upset that the council had voted to have a skateboard park located at Keystone Beach.

Jones said that prior to his absence from that meeting he asked if a vote would be taken, and was assured that no vote would take place. However, that was not the case. Jones said he missed the meeting due to an appointment that could only be made once a month, but was willing to miss the appointment should a vote be held because he had strong feelings about the location of the park. …

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