I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Why Shade Meetings are Wholly Appropriate in Some Circumstances

Playing Blind Man's Bluff with Millions of Dollars at Stake is neither intelligent nor fiscally responsible....

.....If it is current litigation or an administrative proceeding with the potential for litigation---- and strategy must be formulated---a shade meeting is wholly appropriate for a body subject to the Florida Sunshine Law.  As a matter of fact, over my 10 year tenure on the school board we had dozens and dozens of these meetings.  Executive sessions are delineated in statute and in this particular case (Sheriff's Budget Appeal) we are on solid legal ground so far as I have been told by our County Attorney.

I understand that the Sheriff would like us to hold this meeting in public so that our thoughts, impressions, and strategies can be recorded and scrutinized--however with the potential of this proceeding going to the District Court of Appeals once the Governor rules on it (if in the unlikely event it goes that far) It would be ludicrous for us to even contemplate this course of action.

For those that feel this is somehow not appropriate or incorrect--please remember these proceedings have serious consequences and potentially as much as $2.7 Million Dollars are at stake and litigation is a distinct possibility if the Governor rules against us and forces us to raise taxes.  Knowing the BCC has collectively (and individual members individually) a fiduciary responsibility to the County and our funds--it could be argued that to NOT hold this strategy session in the shade would be a blatant, irresponsible disregard for this fiduciary responsibility.

So would the unauthorized release of any strategy, ideas, impressions, or materials generated during this shade session prior to the completion of the entire process and appeals.

And after this whole affair is settled (or sooner), the transcripts of our shade meetings and all associated documents will be made available for scrutiny by the public, so nothing will stay hidden forever.  Everything will come out.

But meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are in a situation not unlike a game of poker at the moment.

Interesting that some folks want us to play with our "hand" exposed on the table like a game of Blind Man's Bluff. 


Anonymous said...

If you poll a watch group, they will vote for the sunshine.. it's called bias. If you look up drama, it called conflict and dysfunction. One thing to watch for is the one or ones who stir that up.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully all the meetings will be in the shade and Underhill will not attend, if you could only get Robinson and May to continue to not show up as usual, then perhaps the two smart guys can get something done with the budget.

Anonymous said...

Wow...nice response to the appeal , EBOCC plus or minus. We knew it but that is EPIC. Thank you, but what a shame for the people and sworn deputies of Escambia county, but this certainly made it clear.

Anonymous said...

From the appeal response it looks like it is time for a recall of the sheriff, will the board he taking that action also?

Anonymous said...

Just like county commissioners spent close to 13 million on DoD swap in Beaulah. How responsible is that. Navy Federal can build a complex in Ellison Field or the “soccer complex” hah of 29 at W Street. People in town need jobs and a bus line

Anonymous said...

Recall Bergosh