Thank you for visiting The Islander Newspaper Online.

We are currently updating our website to provide you better service and function.
If you would like to access the new site, please, click here: The Islander Newspaper

Sorry for any inconvenience. Our new site and service will resume shortly.

Web Master

The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992

"The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992"

Monday, Dec, 22, 2014
Florida Press Assn. Award-Winning Web Site
Home Latest News Weather Sports Real Estate Classifieds Island Guide Islander Store

 SECTIONS

 • 

Main News

 • 

Classifieds

 • 

Opinions

 • 

Streetlife

 • 

Calendar

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Sports

 • 

Real Estate

 • 

Obituaries

 • 

Weather

 Features

 • 

Cortez Cook Off: The Results

 • 

Anna Maria Island Bridge FDOT replacement bridge

 • 

National Hurricane Center (Atlantic)

 • 

Advanced Search

 • 

I love AMI

 • 

Mystery Story

 • 

Fishing Laws

 Classifieds

 • 

Classifieds Page

 • 

Place An AD

 • 

Items for Sale

 • 

Garage Sale

 • 

Estate Sale

 • 

Announcments

 • 

Lost & Found

 • 

Pets

 • 

Transportation

 • 

Boats & Boating

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Kids 4 Hire

 • 

Help Wanted

 • 

Health Care

 • 

Services

 • 

Lawn & Garden

 • 

Landscaping

 • 

Home Improvement

 • 

Business Opportunities

 • 

Rentals

 • 

Real Estate

 Weather

 • 

Today's Forecast

 • 

10 Day Forecast

 • 

Today's Tides

 • 

Emergency e-mail

 • 

Storm Watch

 Archive

 • 

News Archive

 • 

2009 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2008 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2007 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2006 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2005 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2004 Top Notch Gallery

 Useful Links

 • 

Island Links

 • 

i.wed

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

About this Site

 Contact Us

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

Subscribe

 • 

About Us

 • 

e-mail us

Story Tools

Date of Issue: November 25, 2009

Sunshine in Anna Maria

An estimated 25-30 people attended a Nov.18 seminar in Anna Maria on Florida’s Government-in-the-Sunshine Law and how it applies to city staff, volunteer boards and elected officials.

The seminar was lead by city attorney Jim Dye.

In addition to newly elected Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus, others who attended included Commissioners John Quam, Chuck Webb and Jo Ann Mattick, city staff, members of the city’s boards and committees and new Holmes Beach Commissioner Al Robinson, along with some members of the public.

The city holds the seminar every year following the induction of new city commissioners.

Dye said the seminars are designed to inform and educate people involved in city government about the law. Florida has a model open-government law for the nation, he said.

Essentially, the law is divided into two parts, Dye said. The first deals with public meetings, while the second part involves public records.

A public meeting is any meeting between “two or more people who can take action” on an issue, Dye observed. “Take action” means there could be a vote by the same two people at the same time on an issue. These meetings have to be noticed to the public.

It is a misconception some people have that a city commissioner can’t discuss an issue with a planning and zoning board member without a public notice. Those two people do not sit at the same voting table and are “not on the same body,” said Dye. They are permitted to discuss most issues without public notice.

Because the mayor does not have a vote on the commission, commissioners individually are free to discuss issues with the mayor without a public notice. However, two commissioners cannot meet with the mayor at the same time.

A new area covered by the public records portion of the Sunshine Law is electronic communications. The courts have determined that e-mails to and from public officials about public business are official documents and need to be available to the public. The exception is the “one-way” e-mail, where no reply is requested.

Violating the Sunshine Law on e-mails could be costly. The Venice City Council recently had to pay nearly $1 million in a lawsuit that claimed e-mails between council members about city business constituted a public meeting and should have been noticed, and the city violated the Sunshine Law by not keeping a record of the e-mails.

Anna Maria holds a Sunshine Law seminar every year shortly after the general election. It is the result of a judge’s mandate following a successful claim brought by The Islander against the city more than a decade ago for denial of public access to records.

Have your say:

No comments for this page. Feel free to be the first

Username:

Contact:

(email or url)

Subject:

Your View:

Please enter the security code below:

security  

Get breaking news

Follow the Islander on TwitterBecome a fan of The Islander on Facebook

Sign up to receive breaking news alerts via e-mail. We'll send you a notice when the news and classifieds appear online every week, before the print edition hits the streets.

Click here for Gulf oil spill updates related to Anna Maria Island.

Historic Anna Maria City Pier Plank Walk

Put your name, your message, your memorial on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier prior to the Pier Centennial Celebration! And join the fun!

CLICK HERE for Stoltzfus e-mails and related court documents.


FREE Island
Vacation Guide:
get it here

Cortez Cookoff

Click here for 2010 Cortez Cookoff Winner and recipes

To advertise here, please
visit our rates page
or contact us at:
sales@islander.org
Phone: (941) 778-7978
Fax: (941) 778-9392

Back to top of Page

Home | Weather | Real Estate | Classifieds | Archives | Contact | Island Links
Islander Store | Subscribe About this site | Classifieds Page | Place an Ad
For Sale | Garage Sales | Announcements | Lost & Found | Pets | Transportation
Boats & Boating | Fishing | Kids for Hire | Help Wanted | Health Care | Services
Lawn & Garden | Landscaping | Home Improvement | Business Opportunities | Rentals | Real Estate

Our Privacy and Copyright Statements © 1992 - 2009, The Islander