Let the Sunshine In

Taking the position that taxpayers have the right to know where their money is going, the City Council voted Tuesday that all records and meetings of quasi-governmental entities must be open to the public. The resolution applies to all groups that receive 30% of their funding from city, county, state, and/or federal governments or who make recommendations to the City Council on policy or administration.

The resolution applies to the Center City Commission, Center City Revenue Finance Corporation, Riverfront Development Corporation, Convention & Visitors Bureau, Memphis Housing Authority, Memphis and Shelby County Parking Authority, Industrial Development Board, Depot Redevelopment Corporation of Memphis and Shelby County, the Sports Authority of Memphis and Shelby County Incorporated, Memphis Light Gas and Water, and any other agency, board or commission that meets the definition outlined by T.C.A. 8-44-102.

In the past, some of these quasi-governmental bodies, including the Riverfront Development Corporation, have argued that their meetings and records were not open to the public.

The vote took place in the Personnel, Intergovernmental, Annexation Committee meeting chaired by Councilman Brent Taylor on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The resolution was sponsored by Dedrick Brittenum and passed unanimously by all Councilmembers in attendance: E. C. Jones, Madeleine Cooper Taylor, Carol Chumney, Edmund Ford, Barbara Swearengen Ware, Joe Brown, Henry Hooper, Myron Lowery, Scott McCormick, and Tom Marshall. Jack Sammons was absent.