Stillwater City Council removes 'new business' as agenda item
Stillwater City Council agendas will no longer include the item "new business," under an ordinance that councilors unanimously approved Monday.
The decision reportedly was to stop residents from addressing the council on issues not listed on the agenda.
The state Open Meeting Act defines "new business" as “any matter not known about or which could not have been reasonably foreseen prior to the time of posting.” (OKLA. STAT. tit. 25, § 311(A)(9))
The statute “nowhere provides for or guarantees citizens a right to participate in the governmental decisions being made at an open meeting,” state Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.
I'm relying on the media reports because the council agenda gave only this explanation:
Ordinance No. 3110: An ordinance amending Chapter 2, Administration, Article II, City Commission, Division 1, Generally, of the Stillwater City Code, to amend Section 2-20, Order of the Business and Section 2-25, Public Addressing the Commission, declaring an emergency.
But agendas should be worded in “plain language, directly stating the purpose of the meeting, in order to give the public actual notice. The language used should be simple, direct and comprehensible to a person of ordinary education and intelligence,” the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals has said.