Tuesday, April 1, 2014

More transparency needed in the meeting minutes of Bridgeport Township boards and commissions

The meeting minutes of the Bridgeport Township Board's monthly meetings are provided on their website Bridgeport Charter Township . They have the meeting minutes posted going back to January 3, 2012 but there are no minutes for December 2012, not sure why that month is missing.
The Michigan Open Meetings Act states "What must be in the minutes – at a minimum, the minutes must show the date, time, place, members present, members absent, any decisions made at a meeting open to the public, and the purpose or purposes for which a closed session is held. The minutes must include all roll call votes taken at the meeting.  The OMA does not prohibit a public body from preparing a more detailed set of minutes of its public meetings if it chooses to do so."
The Bridgeport Township board provides only the bare minimum required to be in compliance with the open meetings act.  Why not provide more detailed information including the public comments made?

The Bridgeport Downtown Development Authority also provides the minutes to their meetings on the website and do give more detailed information of what went on at the meetings.  There are 2  meeting minutes missing from the website, the August 14, 2013 meeting and  the December 11, 2013 meeting.  The minutes posted only go back to June 12, 2013.

The Bridgeport Planning & Zoning Commission also holds meetings but I am unable to tell for sure how often by looking at Bridgeport's website since there are only two meeting minutes posted,  for a July 29, 2013 meeting and a August 21, 2013 meeting.  They do give detailed minutes of what went on at the meetings.

I am assuming that you could request to see any of the meeting minutes for these boards and the planning & zoning commission by going into the township office and requesting to see them.  Many residents are probably not even aware of these meetings being held or can't attend them due to various reasons. Interested parties may find it hard to even get to the township to request to see the meeting minutes.  It would be better for transparency reasons to have a more detailed record of the meeting minutes and to have them all posted online to make them available to all the residents and any interested parties at any time.

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