Unicoi County Commission Votes to not Support Changes to Sunshine Law

The Unicoi County Commission voted to not support changes to the Sunshine Law. The vote occurred Monday, December 19, during a special called meeting.

One Commissioner, Doug Bowman, voted to support changes to the Sunshine Law that would permit the County government to conduct secret meetings.

Bowman claimed that secret meetings would only be held in situations where acquisitions of property by the County would be conducted.

However, the proposed changes to the Sunshine Law would abolish the the quorum rule, which would allow for any number of commissioners, up to a quorum, to meet behind closed doors without public notice.

It is not clear how Bowman could not possibly know the actual intent of the rule change, considering the coordinated effort of the Tennessee GOP to abolish open meetings. Was this a simple oversight, Mr. Bowman simply being misinformed or was it something more sinister to mislead people to support efforts to overturn the 37 year old Sunshine Law?

Several Letters to the Editor of the Erwin Record, and a Guest Editorial by Mark Steven, the last Editor of the Erwin Record, voicing opposition to changes to the Sunshine Law, provided verbal fireworks highlighting the outrage against secret meetings the last several weeks, preceding the Monday vote.

It is sad to note that GOP overreach continues in the state of Tennessee and the plans to kill open government will continue.

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