Shelby County Balking At Open Meetings Law

Shelby County Commission members have complained that the state Open Meetings Act should be loosened to allow more secrecy.

At a meeting Monday, commissioners discussed member Steve Mulroy’s call to change the law which bars private decisions about public business. Mulroy said the openness rules are so strict that they turn elected local representatives into lawbreakers, according to The Commercial Appeal .

Frank Gibson, public policy director of the Tennessee Press Association, said the act doesn’t stop officials from talking about issues, but bars backroom agreements such as lining up votes or cutting deals to then take up in public session.

Writing in the Tennessee Law Review, Mulroy recently wrote of the law, often referred to as the sunshine law, saying it might be time for a little shade.