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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 »

Karen J. Wampler, 78, Columbus
  Sister of Rod Sanburn of Nashville

Tommie Barger, 72, Morgantown
  Father of Edward Barger of Morgantown

Maurice Wayne Pelley Sr., 83, Gosport
  Father of Shirley Ackerman (husband, Jim) of Nashville

  • July 29
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • July 29
    Environmental workshop set at library
    9 a.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 29
    BC Sheriff's Merit Board meeting CANCELED
  • July 29
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • July 29
    Animal talk at state park Nature Center
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 30
    Go Club at the library
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 30
    Gospel jam & sing in Gnaw Bone
    6:30 p.m. Country Gospel Church, 5181 State Road 46 East
  • July 30
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • July 30
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • July 30
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • July 30
    Thursday at Brown County State Park Nature Center
    11 a.m., 2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 31
    Farmers market in Bean Blossom July 31
    4 to 7 p.m. St. David's Episcopal Church, 11 State Road 45 at 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 31
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • July 31
    Live dulcimer music at history center
    2 to 4 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • July 31
    Fingerstyle guitar festival spans three days
    7 p.m. to Pine Room, 51 E. Chestnut St.
  • July 31
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • July 31
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • July 31
    Wildflower walk at state park
    2 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • July 31
    Dave Miller at sports bar
    8 to 10 p.m. Salt Creek Golf Retreat, 2359 State Road 46 East
  • July 31
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 1
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 1
    Free clothes, supplies for students Aug. 1 at intermediate school
    9 a.m to 1 p.m. BC Intermediate School, 260 School House Lane
  • August 1
    Rotary Club food booth at county fair
    4 to 10 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • August 1
    Acoustic guitar festival hosted at Playhouse
    11 to 4 p.m., 7:30 to 10 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 1
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • August 1
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 2
    Read to dogs at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 2
    CSVFD serves pancake breakfast
    7:30 to 11:30 a.m. CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • August 2
    Guitar and performance workshops planned
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brown County Inn, 51 State Road 46 East
  • August 2
    Read to a dog at the library
    2 to 3:30 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 2
    'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 2
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Brown County State Park, 1450 State Road 46 East (north entrance)
  • August 4
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 4
    Brown County Council
    2 p.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
  • August 4
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • August 4
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 6
    Nashville Town Council
    6 p.m. Town Hall, 200 Commercial St.
  • August 6
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 6
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • August 7
    'Ghostbusters' at the Playhouse
    7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 7
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • August 8
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • August 8
    Tribute to John Denver at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Live music at winery
    7 to 10 p.m. Chateau Thomas Winery, Coachlight Square, 225 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 8
    Donations accepted for Habitat garage sale
    9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Brown County 4-H fairgrounds
  • August 9
    'Jurassic World' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • August 11
    Open 12-step meeting in New Bellsville area
    8 p.m. Harmony Baptist Church, 3999 Mt. Liberty Road, New Bellesville
  • August 11
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 12
    Blood drive scheduled at Parkview church
    2 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 13
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 15
    Rock & mineral club
    6 p.m. Extension Office, 802 Memorial Drive at the fairgrounds
  • August 15
    TRIAD annual picnic at Parkview church
    11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 15
    Kingdom fest at Nashville church
    1 to 4 p.m. Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St.
  • August 18
    Time for inner peace set at local church
    5:30 to 7 p.m. Parkview Church of the Nazarene, 1750 State Road 46 East
  • August 23
    Live Baby Boomer music at tavern
    7 to 9 p.m. Pine Room, 51 E. Chestnut St.
  • August 24
    American history DVD set to air at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • August 24
    American history DVD set to air at library
    1 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • September 18
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    4 to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg
  • September 19
    BucCornEar Festival fundraiser returns
    8 a.m. to 8 p.m. JTFD, 4831 Helmsburg Road, Helmsburg