The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat: authorities’ handling of open meetings and records disputes yields conflicting results

In a short span of 24 hours Kentucky’s open meetings and open records laws were handed a significant victory and a serious defeat. The thrill of victory: Bluegrass Institute v. Jefferson County Board of Education The victory occurred when the Bluegrass Institute and its Center for Open Government prevailed in an open meetings appeal involving the…

Bluegrass Institute News Release: Center for Open Government scores victory in JCPS open meetings appeal

  For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Kentucky Attorney General has ruled in favor of the Bluegrass Institute and its Center for Open Government in an open meetings appeal involving the Jefferson County Board of Education. Assistant Attorney General James Herrick in a decision released Monday agreed with the Bluegrass…

Kentucky’s pension crisis: The wrong question

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon column is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. It’s apparent from KET’s Kentucky Tonight forum on the public-pension crisis last night and legislators’ comments about the issue in Sunday’s Madisonville Messenger that substantially addressing the…

A helpful hint for public officials: if the action you are contemplating contains the word “secret,” it probably violates the open meetings law

My first law school exam presented a complex hypothetical involving multiple jurisdictional challenges faced by the fictitious manufacturer of a product called “Diaper Doo” –  a product that could only come from the warped mind of a law school professor. The object was to identify as many of those jurisdictional challenges as possible and to…

Secret Ballots: The Ultimate Affront to Open Government

There are few actions of public agency officials that more directly fly in the face of open government  than the use of the secret ballot. Surely, forty three years after the passage of the open meetings law agency officials no longer indulge the absurd belief that they are permitted to employ secret ballots in conducting…

Barren County Progress publisher prevails in open records dispute

The Bluegrass Institute’s Center for Open Government was pleased to provide assistance to Barren County Progress publisher, Jeff Jobe, in his recent successful open records appeal. The appeal originated in the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s partial denial of Jobe’s request for records relating to the $7.4M SET Project sponsored by the TVA and implemented by…