January 27. This just in: “- resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judment you cannot
be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.” Abraham Lincoln
January 24. Today’s council meeting business was preceded by an unusual and rambling statement by current Town Attorney Martin Brannan. During the announcements and reports segment, he quoted Theodore Roosevelt, then took a swing at this blogger, politically speaking.
The basis of Brannan’s criticism toward me seems to have stemmed from 3 (possibly unwelcome) Open Meeting Law violation complaints, submitted yesterday by me and my wife to the Arizona Attorney General. Those complaints were submitted accurately.
1. Brannan made a false statement: “Doug Gilford published yesterday that today’s meeting is illegal because the notice of the agenda announcing the meeting was posted 23 hours and 24 minutes before the meeting and not a full 24 hours before the meeting. He is wrong.” In actuality, the notice was not posted until at least 10:35 am. That is what was published. One of 3 possibilites exist. Brannan apparently did not “go figure”, or was incapable of figuring, or is a liar.
2. But that was not the only or greatest issue… Brannan began the Town’s defense for this late website posting. He referred to technical difficulties which prevented posting of the notice [online]. If that is true, there was still obviously plenty of time to overcome technical difficulties.
[Paragraph corrected:] The agenda is compiled on Thursdays before Tuesday meetings.That notice was created and signed Friday. The bulletin boards in town were posted last Friday. So too could the website have been updated on Friday. The notice did not make it onto the website until 3 days later. “Not getting around to it” is not a technical difficulty.
Video copyright Moore Photo Imaging, S.W. Desert News
3. The Town has used this “technical difficulties” excuse extensively for the past year. The writer made a complaint to the Town on its official complaint form last March 2011 about the deplorable condition of the website for the first 3 months of 2011. That complaint went unanswered.
4. Brannan did not deny that the public notice to announce today’s meeting was in fact posted late on the website.
5. As if Arizona Statutes are not important, the clerk did not correct the written time of posting on the notice. Even if technical difficulties existed, it should have been corrected [to “10:45”]. It states that the posting was made at 9:00 am. So, the notice creates yet another error and potential violation.
6. Additional evidence and information will now be submitted to the Attorney General to supplement the complaints. The Attorney General’s office will make the decision whether there were violations or not. Despite Brannan’s politically flavored statement, the Statutes are intended to be, and are indeed clear on Arizona Open Meeting Laws.
7. Readers are invited to report their own observations of the postings for this meeting.