Although Deputy County Attorney Larry Ramsey Jr. said having four members of the Fulton Board of Commissioners attend a town hall meeting where county business was discussed made it an official meeting, most of the commission didn't want to hear that.
Commissioner Liz Hausmann, who asked the board to self report the unintended violation to the Georgia Attorney General's office to protect the county, explained the meeting was adverstised as a town hall meeting to discuss legislation that the Fulton legislative delegation had proposed that puts limits and controls on the commission.
"It was advertised as one thing, and three other commissioners showed up. So did the county attorney, county clerk and communications department," said Hausmann, who represents North Fulton. "So they had a quorum at this town hall meeting, which turned it into a business meeting. And they discussed official Fulton County buisness.
Hausmann said Commissioner Bill Edwards got agitated and "made some pretty derogatory comments about North Fulton."
Edwards said no one from the board spoke at the town hall meeting other than Commissioner Darnell, who called the meeting in her District 4.
Without discussion by other commissioners, Edwards said it wasn't an official meeting because no intent was there.
Ramsey repeated when questioned that it was a violation of the Open Meetings Act in his opinion.
But when Edwards continued his discussion of what constitutes a meeting, he described North Fulton as "podunk."
The Merriam Webster online dictionary defines podunk as:
a small, unimportant, and isolated town
Other dictionaries aren't so kind, adding in "dull" and "insignificant."
"Why would a commissioner call a part of the county that is under his governing, call any part of that county something like that, it's such a derogatory term," Hausmann said. "It's just really disappointing. I don't get it."
Edwards' office has been contacted to ask about the comments, but no reply has been received as of yet.
Hausmann's motion died for lack of a second.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: To view the embedded and linked videos of the Board of Commissioners' archived meeting, Microsoft Silverlight is required. That may require use of the Safari web browser on Macs, if you have difficulties with other browsers.)
Assistant Attorney General sent a letter dated March 11 to the county attorney asking for details about the town hall meeting asking for information.
On Monday, March 18, Ramsey replied, saying that while four commissioners attending the town hall meeting appeared to make it a meeting of the Board of Commissioners for the purposes of the Open Meetings Act, there was no intent to violate the law. He said in his letter that notice was made of the meeting, an agenda created and minutes kept. And no votes or actions were taken by the quorum of commissioners.
Both letters are attached as pdf files.
See More on Patch
Most Popular articles
- Know Before You Go: North Fulton Restaurants Score A's
- Celebrate Memorial Day 2013 With Events in Johns Creek, Atlanta Area
- Johns Creek Man Charged With Faking Own Kidnapping
- News Nearby: Sandy Springs Wife Lost an Eye; 3 Indicted in International Sex Trafficking
- Road Construction to Tie Up North Point/Old Milton Traffic