In one of the recent pleadings regarding the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) lawsuit, there is a declaration from a paralegal who has gone to the effort of quantifying the level of non-responsiveness of our public servants.
Before we get to the tally, for the sake of background, remember that the OPMA states the following:
The legislature finds and declares that all public commissions, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, offices, and all other public agencies of this state and subdivisions thereof exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business. It is the intent of this chapter that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.
"Governing body" is "the multimember board, commission, committee, council, or other policy or rule-making body of a public agency, or any committee thereof when the committee acts on behalf of the governing body, conducts hearings, or
takes testimony or public comment."
"Action" is "the transaction of the official business of a public agency by a governing body including but not limited to receipt of public testimony, deliberations, discussions, considerations, reviews, evaluations, and final actions. "Final action" means a collective positive or negative decision, or an actual vote by a majority of the members of a governing body when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order, or ordinance."
"Meeting" means "meetings at which action is taken."Remember, too, that there is no dispute about whether the CAO Committee meetings took place in secret. They did. The dispute concerns the content of the meetings. The position of the participants is that they only discussed scheduling and not more substantive matters, despite documentary evidence (notes and emails) to the contrary.
When questioned about the meetings, this is how the deponents remembered (or did not remember) events.
- Lovel Pratt was deposed on January 3, 2013, and she expressed 67 denials of knowledge (63 "I don't recall", 4 "I don't know")
- Richard Fralick was deposed on January 3, 2013, and he expressed 22 denials (21 "I don't recall", 1 "I don't know")
- Patty Miller was deposed on January 4, 2013, and she expressed 63 denials (51 "I don't recall", 12 "I don't know")
- Shireene Hale was deposed on January 17, 2013, and she expressed 100 denials (52 "I don't recall", 31 "I don't know", 17 "I just don't have a specific recollection")
Mirror, mirror on the wall ... who remembers the least of all? Looks like it's Hale, followed by Pratt, Miller, and then Fralick.