Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keystone Meetings Challenged

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Keystone Meetings Challenged

Article excerpt

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS -- At least one of two closed meetings planned

in August between a Tallahassee attorney and City Council

members has been canceled, and if the city's vice mayor has his

way, the second meeting will be opened to the public.

The city had planned to hold the meetings to discuss Florida

Water, the company that provides water to the city and

surrounding area, until a media attorney intervened.

George D. Gabel Jr., representing The County Line, said in a

letter to Mayor Archie Green: "It has come to our attention that

the town of Keystone Heights and its public officials have

planned meetings . . . that we believe will be in violation of

. . . the government in the Sunshine Act."

Florida's Sunshine Law requires public boards or commissions to

hold meetings open to the public, provide reasonable notice of

its meetings and to take minutes.

The first meeting was to be between Vice Mayor Tony Brown and

the state's public counsel Jack Shreve, who represents the

public in utility-related disputes, and officials from Clay

County's public safety department and staff from the Clay County

School Board.

Following that meeting, Green was to meet with Shreve over

lunch, prior to an afternoon public meeting. Green has canceled

the luncheon meeting.

The city has been concerned about lack of cooperation from

Florida Water to improve its system. Of major concern has been

inadequate water flow to fire hydrants and the company's refusal

to enter into a franchise agreement with the city.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, City Attorney Sam Mutch said

concerns from the media over the meetings were unfounded.

Mutch disagreed with Gabel, saying that Green would simply be

taking Shreve to lunch. He said Green would not be discussing

the problems between the city and Florida Water. …

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