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Council approves meeting minutes

September 29, 1999

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday approved minutes for four meetings since July.

The council voted 4-0 to approve minutes for July 27 and Aug. 24 voting sessions, and for council work sessions on Sept. 7 and Sept. 14.

It was the second time since February the council has had minutes to approve.

Last month, the council unanimously approved minutes for council meetings on July 6, July 13, July 20, Aug. 3, Aug. 10 and Aug. 17.

In January and February the council approved minutes for council work sessions on Jan. 5, Feb. 2 and Feb. 16.

Minutes are a written record of what happens at City Council meetings. Maryland's Open Meetings Act requires that minutes be kept for all public meetings.The Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board is reviewing a complaint from The Herald-Mail Co. in which the newspaper claims the city is violating the law by not having minutes for all of its meetings.

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The city claims it has not violated the law because there is ample documentation of council actions in audio tapes of each meeting, notes of most meetings and separate documentation of votes taken. The city also claims the law does not require that minutes be approved by the council, just prepared.

The city has hired a part-time worker at $8 an hour to help prepare minutes for approval by the council.

- Dan Kulin

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