Saturday, March 13, 2010

In FL: Public doesn't have right to speak at public meetings

Town Meeting ConferenceImage by Mark Sardella via Flickr

Government meetings have to be open to the public, but that doesn't mean citizens have a right to speak at them, a Florida appeals court ruled.

"Appellants have failed to point to any case construing the phrase 'open to the public' to grant the public the right to speak."

The 1st District Court of Appeal cited previous Florida Supreme Court rulings that The public has no authority to participate in or to interfere with the decision-making process.

Pensacola activists filed suit against Community Maritime Park Associates, saying the board's decisions about a $40 million museum and waterfront park should be nullified because public-comment periods at its meetings were inadequate.

Here's the PDF of the opinion.

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