February 26, 2007 (Monday) Loudon County Commission workshop meeting.


My name is Pat Hunter and I would like to speak to a matter that is not on the agenda, but a matter that should be on the agenda.


This past Saturday, Van Shaver provided all commissioners via email with a copy of the CTAS legal opinion about Mayor Doyle Arpís latest public records Resolution. The legal opinion and resolution has been provided as a courtesy to the community, compliments of vanshaver.com. Anyone wishing to view or obtain a copy of the public records information may do so.


I hope that commissioners have taken the time to read and review the legal opinion. The legal opinion is pretty straight forward and to the point. It is clearly on the side of citizens and recommends not imposing burdensome rules and regulations in an effort to circumvent the Tennessee Open Records law. But more importantly NOT to discourage the access, viewing and obtaining of public records.


At the Feb 5th commission meeting, commissioners tabled a proposed 7-page resolution concerning Mayor Arpsí latest public records policy.

  1. Commissioner Meers spoke about clarification from CTAS and that Mayor Arp form a committee.
  2. Commissioner Miller agreed that tabling the matter was a good idea and that he had spoken to another attorney about the legality and questions about the resolution. Commissioner Miller spoke about sending it to CTAS the next day so CTAS legal could review the resolution to see whatís legal and whatís not, before the next workshop, so discussion could continue on a recommendation of where commission wants to go for the next commission meeting.
  3. Commissioners Gardin concurred.
  4. Commissioner Bob Franke spoke about receiving a lot of input from citizens about the public records matter.
  5. Commissioner Earlena Maples also expressed similar concerns. 

I agree with commissioner Franke that public monies could be better spent not on lawyers making it more difficult for citizens to view and access public records but for making government more transparent and accessible to the taxpayers, who ultimately pay all the bills.  


Therefore, I am requesting that commissioners honor and follow through with what was said at the Feb 5th commission meeting and that this matter be added to the agenda for public discussion.


Commissioner Duff and Park are my 5th District commissioners that represent me and other residents within that boundary, I am requesting your assistance to add this time to the agenda and those citizens wishing to speak or ask questions be allowed to do so at that time.  


America stands for freedom and democratic principles of open, honest and accountable government. We as citizens are afforded many rights and privileges under the United States Constitution. I am requesting that this governing body and county officials abide by the law and allow the citizens of this county their right to view and access public records as afforded under the Tennessee Open Records law.


Thank you.

Pat Hunter