The OMA resolution, which was added to council’s agenda at 5 p.m. on Oct. 20, was discussed in relation to the approval of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development Authority bylaws - a separate agenda item at the meeting.
Murdock said the resolution is simply about “having meetings where decisions are made open to the public.”
Although he had previous discussions with City Manager Ed Koryzno during Council’s goal-setting sessions in January, Murdock moved forward with the resolution Oct. 20, when the DDA violated the Open Meetings Act earlier in the month by having a quorum, or more than seven members of the board, participate at a planning committee meeting.
the Advance Ypsilanti PAC notes that the resolution snuck in at the last possible minute
Sadly, the process by which this open meetings resolution was enacted is exactly the opposite of an open process. This is not just ironic, but suspect.
For instance, consider that this resolution was sent to the city clerk and posted to the council packets at 4:16 p.m. the day of the city council meeting, less than 3 hours before council was to convene. AY PAC asks ‘why’? There was no emergency, no timeline that needed to be met on this issue. There was no pressing need that forced this to be addressed and resolved THAT NIGHT.
If anyone can inform AY PAC as to why this was so urgent that it needed to be addressed in a timeline that included NO opportunity for public comment and little reflection by council, we welcome the information.
The back story is the Ypsi DDA meeting in October 2008 which was held in closed session, in evident violation of the Open Meetings Act. From YpsiNews (Steve Pierce) at the time:
(October 7, 2008) During a meeting of the Ypsilanti Downtown Development, the DDA board violated not one, but two sections of the Open Meetings Act.
The Director of the Ypsilanti DDA, Brian Vosburg, called an emergency closed session meeting to be held on Friday, October 3, 2008 at 12 noon. The purpose of the meeting was to meet with DDA attorney Tammie Tischler.
The DDA Director said in the meeting notice the “Closed Session (is) to consider material exempt from discussion or disclosure by state or federal statute - (Open Meetings Act 15.268, Section 8(h))”
However, neither the DDA Director nor the DDA attorney would cite which state or federal statute exempts the DDA from the Open Meetings Act. Failing to publicly state the reason for a closed session is a violation of the Open Meetings Act.