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Sunshine Laws disregarded by council members

Beth Kormanik of The (Jacksonville, Fla.) Times-Union evaluated the daily calendars of city council members from June 1, 2005, to Dec. 1, 2006 and found dozens of meetings that violated Florida's open meetings laws. "The computer-assisted analysis documented 307 scheduled meetings, excluding committee and full council meetings. Forty-seven calendar listings dealt with specific items of city business such as the Cecil Field referendum, city contracts and downtown traffic but were held without prior public notice and without a written account of the proceedings." As a result of the investigation, State Attorney Harry Shorstein has recommended a grand jury investigation of the city council's open meeting practices, siting "a culture of blatant disregard."

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