Friday, January 18, 2008
Did Matthews & Hoeffel violate Sunshine Law?
The Montgomery County Commissioners have changed the date of their next meeting so Democrat Joe Hoeffel can attend a meeting of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Both meetings were scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 24. The commissioners are moving their meeting to Wednesday so Hoeffel can make his first meeting as the county's representative on the DVRPC.
When was the decision made to change the meeting and when was the decision made to nominate Hoeffel to the regional commission in place of Republican Jim Matthews?
The commissioners last met on Jan. 10 and neither decision was announced (or voted on) at that meeting.
Matthews and Hoeffel must have had a conversation after Jan. 10 to make the switch in meeting dates and appointments. There's no indication the other commissioner, Republican Bruce Castor, took part in the discussion.
There was no public meeting since Jan. 10, so that means Matthews and Hoeffel held a private meeting in violation of the state Sunshine Act.
Any time a majority of commissioners from the three-member board get together, they are subject to the state's Sunshine Act. The meeting has to be advertised in advance and any votes must be taken in a public setting.
How many more secret meetings can we expect under the Matthews-Hoeffel Regime?