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Hagerstown City Council minutes nearly up to date

August 22, 2000

Hagerstown City Council minutes nearly up to date



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


Minutes of all Hagerstown City Council meetings since July 1999 except for one have been approved and City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said minutes from all meetings of the current council should be ready to be voted on this fall.

The council voted Tuesday to approve minutes from eight council meetings since the beginning of March. A revised version of minutes from a June 27 meeting also was approved Tuesday.

Minutes from a May 2 meeting were prepared but the council postponed a final vote on them after Councilman J. Wallace McClure asked the minutes be changed to reflect comments he and Councilman Alfred W. Boyer made during the meeting. Boyer did not attend Tuesday's meeting.

McClure also was the lone vote against approving minutes from an Aug. 15 meeting. McClure asked that the minutes include comments made by officials of the nonprofit group running the ice rink. McClure said group officials said they have no plans to add a second sheet of ice at the city-owned rink.

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Councilman William M. Breichner said those comments were not an essential part of the Aug. 15 discussion. Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II agreed with Breichner and called for a vote on the minutes as prepared.

Zimmerman said minutes for every voting session of the current council have been approved and minutes for council work sessions since the current council took office in June 1997 are being completed. He was unsure how many minutes still needed to be voted on.

"We hope to have this wrapped up later this fall," Zimmerman said.

He said there are no plans to complete minutes for meetings of previous councils.

There are no approved minutes for at least 193 meetings of previous councils.

Minutes are not a transcript of a meeting but typically summarize all the comments made and issues discussed. Minutes are an official record of what was said or done by a government body during a meeting and must be approved by a council vote.

Minutes have been required since the Maryland Open Meetings Act was adopted in 1976.

In November, the Maryland Open Meetings Compliance Board ruled the mayor and council violated the Open Meetings Act for not having minutes prepared in a timely manner.

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