The requirements of the Ohio Sunshine laws are pretty clear- you meet according to schedule with the door open. The only exceptions justifying an executive session include discussions about personnel matters, the purchase of property, pending or imminent court action, and collective bargaining. You still must keep minutes- and open and close in an open public meeting.
So- when I found out the Dayton City Commission meeting was having secret meetings and discussing ways to end citizen participation- I wore a mask in public. I was arrested- and won every step of the way in court.
Now- Joe Lacey says the Dayton Public School Board can’t follow the law and is filing suit:
Lacey sues Dayton school board | Get on the Bus | Observations on schools, kids, teachers, teaching and education by Scott Elliott, Dayton Daily News
Dayton Board of Education member Joe Lacey Friday filed suit against the board claiming it violated the state’s open meetings law by deliberating and deciding the fate of Roosevelt High School outside of a public meeting.
In a conversation with me today, Lacey cited this blog, Get on the Bus, and comments by board member Mario Gallin, who explained the process for how the decision to raze Roosevelt was made in this blog post from December.
The bigger question is how many meetings were held in violation of the Sunshine laws to set up the deal to buy the School Board’s palace from Reynolds and Reynolds? Had the school board not bought the offices from Reynolds- and either built new, or converted Roosevelt- the school levy would have probably passed.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that this case will uncover the Reynolds deal, even though Lacey may have the opportunity to question people under oath. Too bad he wasn’t on the board when the Reynolds deal went through.