Last Wednesday, the Cedar County Ambulance Board held a meeting without giving the El Dorado Springs Sun or the Cedar County Republican at least 24 hours advance notice of the meeting. In fact, the CCAD gave the two newspapers no notice of the meeting and as of presstime on Tuesday, Sept. 5, had not provided minutes of that meeting.
The Sun contacted an attorney who is an expert on the Missouri Open Meetings Law and was told, “Section 610.020 says notice must be posted at the principal office of the body, so sounds like they did that. But it also says “Reasonable notice shall include making available copies of the notice to any representative of the news media who requests notice of meetings of a particular public governmental body concurrent with the notice being made available to the members of the particular governmental body….” Sounds like they failed to meet that requirement.”
Both the Sun and the Republican placed continuing requests with the Ambulance Board years ago for notification of any and all meetings and until last week received those notifications. It was a private citizen who learned about the meeting and notified the Sun and the Repulican a short while before the meeting convened in Stockton.
On Sept. 4, the Sun sent an email to the Ambulance Board secretary, Tami asking if the meeting occurred and why we weren’t notified. She wrote back, “Last Monday. It was announced and agreed upon at the meeting the previous Monday, to interview the bidders and ask questions. A copy of the agenda was not available in time for publication, however, it was posted at both ambulance barns and at the library, where the meeting took place, well over 24 hours in advance.”
In the past, Ms. Ringler has sent both newspapers notices of all meetings.
On Aug. 22 after the CCAD