Push to "Water Down" Tenn. Open Meetings Law

Dec 9, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Governor Bill Haslam says he opposes efforts to water down Tennessee's open meetings law that bans city or county officials from deliberating over official business in private.

The Tennessee County Commissioners Association is promoting changes to the law that would allow closed-door talks among officials as long as a quorum isn’t present.

David Connor is the TCCA’s Director. He says the way the law is currently written, commissioners are afraid to communicate with each other on any subject, outside official meetings.

"It really becomes difficult to perform their jobs, as county commissioners or city council members when they feel that they run the risk of a lawsuit if they try to share information, or communicate with other members on their board."

Commissioners in Obion, Lewis and Williamson counties have passed resolutions urging state lawmakers to make the change. Similar resolutions are pending in several other counties around the state.