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Thursday, June 28, 2007

PG Council junket skirts open-meetings law

(Posted 28 Jun 2007)
The Council's Week at the Shore.
Post, 28 Jun 2007 (Helderman & Hernandez).
The Prince George's County Council assembled yesterday at a waterfront hotel on the Eastern Shore for a retreat, capping a week of out-of-town conferences and gatherings for county officials.

Council members are scheduled to meet through tomorrow at the Harbourtowne Resort and Conference Center in St. Michaels.
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According to Maryland open-meetings laws, all gatherings of the nine council members must be held publicly, unless they plan to discuss specific topics that the law allows to be dissected behind closed doors. The public must also be provided reasonable notice of all gatherings.

[Council spokeswoman Karen D. ] Campbell said notice of the retreat was posted on the bulletin board at the County Administration Building early Tuesday and put online later in the day. (This would be after questions were raised by The Washington Post.)
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Council Chairman Camille Exum (D) also attended a gathering in Orlando of the National Association of Regional Councils, a group that advocates for local governments working together.
[Comment: Perhaps the Orlando junket was the reason for Ms. Exum's absence from the critical June 25 Dimensions board meeting on the future of the Prince George's Hospital Center.]

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