County Commissioner Violates Sunshine Law

When the Ordinance for nepotism came up on last nights agenda. Commissioner Mike Hammond said “I have already read the room, I know this will not pass” So he did not make a motion to pass his own ordinance. Commissioners Mark Harmon and Tony Norman immediately made a motion to pass the ordinance.

The question is when the Commissioner “read the room” did he violate the sunshine law? As a matter of fact, after much debate and an eventual vote. His reading was accurate. All the more reason to ask when he “read the room” did he violate the open meetings act?

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2 Responses

  1. Steve says:

    I believe Mr. Hammond was referring to his previous experiences in the committee meetings on the issue. It’s just an expression.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The answer is NO. This “reading” was done at the PUBLIC and PUBLICALLY SCHEDULED Knox County Commission meeting. The fact that it might have occured before the actual meeting started is a technicallity of no signifigance since it would seem that there were lots of folks present.
    IF Mr. Hammond had met alone with other commissioners in the room before anyone else arrived before the meeting started – the the answer would be yes.
    Under the circumstances described in the paper the only way Mr. Hammond could have violated the Sunshine Law would require him to communicate secretely with another commissioner either telepathically or non-verbally (ASLD, texting, and so on). Without that you got nothing.