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Stellar committee did not violate Open Door Law
Updated on: 06.24.14

The Indiana public access counselor has ruled that the Nashville Stellar Communities committee did not violate the Open Door Law when it met several times early this spring without announcing its meetings to the public.

Luke Britt's advisory opinion says that the committee is not subject to the Open Door Law because it is not a governing body.

To be a governing body, the committee would have to have been appointed directly by a public agency that is subject to the Open Door Law -- such as the town council or county commissioners.

"The Stellar Committee appears to be borne out of volunteers from various community agencies and is not galvanized under one agency's particular banner," Britt writes. "Therefore, the Committee is not a delegation or sub-committee at all, but rather a community action group or an association of volunteers. These types of entities are not contemplated by the Open Door Law or the Access to Public Records Act."

He also notes that in a previous, unrelated opinion, he advised a majority of one governing body against attending another organization's meeting because that could be construed as a meeting of that governing body. "As the Committee could be discussing public business in their meetings, area public officials should be mindful of these considerations," he said.

The opinion, filed June 23, was a response to two formal complaints filed by attorney Wanda Jones against the Town of Nashville, the Nashville-Brown County Stellar Committee and the Nashville Town Council.

She alleged the groups violated the Open Door Law by not posting formal public notice of Stellar committee meetings in February, March and April.

Jones said people were denied access to an April 23 committee meeting at the County Office Building because the outside doors were locked. Area Plan Director David Woods said that was an accident. He had directed that the doors be locked before a contentious Board of Zoning Appeals meeting that evening because he'd heard people were planning to save spaces for people who supported their views in an attempt to sway the board's decision. He said he didn't know that a Stellar meeting was happening in the same room at 4 p.m.

The Stellar committee has posted all its meetings after May 27 as open to the public.

Jones also alleged that the town violated the Access to Public Records Act by directing inquiries from Jones' firm for certain records to the town's attorney, when requests from other people for the same records had been fulfilled by town employees.

Britt's opinion does not address this complaint directly, only saying that the Stellar committee is not a public agency.

-- Sara Clifford, Brown County Democrat

Obituaries
See Full List »

Hazel J. Bailey, 93, Morgantown
  

Marjorie Mae Wilder, 92, Johnson County
  Mother of Joyce Tow (Jeff) of Nineveh

Timothy L. Ware, 63, of Nashville
  Husband of Eleanor "Ellen" Ware

  • July 3
    Bean Blossom farmers market
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 3
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 3
    Live music at bar
    7:30 to 9:30 p.m., 10 to 11:30 p.m. Big Busted Bar, 44 N. Van Buren St.
  • July 3
    Gospel jubilee at Redbarn
    8 p.m. RedBarn Jamboree, 71 Parkview Road, off 46 East
  • July 3
    Government offices CLOSED
  • July 3
    Open mic night at dance barn
    7:30 to 10 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • July 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • July 4
    Hog roast before the fireworks
    6 to 9 p.m. BC (Nashville) Fire, 231 E. Main St.
  • July 4
    Live raptors at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 4
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • July 4
    Live band at dance barn
    8 to 10:30 p.m. Mike's Dance Barn, 2277 State Road 46 West
  • July 4
    The Mizfits band at general store/bakery
    7 to 9 p.m. Big Woods Brewery, 60 Molly's Lane
  • July 5
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 5
    Brown County Radio Hour to air Episode 40
    9 a.m. WFHB FM 91.3 and 100.7
  • July 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • July 7
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • July 7
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
    4:30 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • July 8
    Brown County Radio Hour to air Episode 40
    6 p.m. WFHB FM 91.3 and 100.7
  • July 8
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • July 8
    Washington Township Advisory Board
    7:15 p.m. BC (Nashville) Fire, 231 E. Main St.
  • July 9
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 9
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • July 9
    Nashville Town Council
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • July 9
    Nashville Arts & Entertainment Commission
    10 a.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • July 9
    Gospel hymn sing
    6:30 p.m. Green Vly Apostolic Church, 5124 State Road 46 West
  • July 9
    Rotary Club
    7:15 a.m. Artist Colony Inn, 105 S. Van Buren St.
  • July 9
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 9
    Volunteer Fair at The Seasons
    4:30 to 6 p.m., 6 p.m. The Seasons Lodge Conference Center, 560 State Road 46 East
  • July 10
    Farmers market in Bean Blossom July 10
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 10
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 11
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • July 11
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • July 11
    Health fair at the YMCA
    8 a.m. to noon YMCA, 105 Willow St.
  • July 11
    Widowed group
    2:30 p.m. Sycamore Valley Community Center, 746 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • July 12
    Woods reunion slated
    12:30 p.m. Yellowwood Forest
  • July 13
    Backpack Program meeting slated
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 13
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 14
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • July 14
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
    6:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 14
    Brown County Council
    6 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • July 16
    WRAPS 20th anniversary open house
    6 to 8 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 17
    Groundbreaking slated for new senior apartments
    2 p.m. Hawthorn Hills, se corner of Hawthorne Drive & Chestnut Street
  • July 18
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • July 20
    Health department offers ServSafe class
    8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • July 30
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane