Investigations of open-meetings complaints by the Kansas Attorney General's office  always zero in on one question: Was the meeting part of a governing board's decision-making process?

    If a majority of the board was present, and the board's business was discussed,  then the meeting should have been open to the public, said Assistant Attorney General Michael Smith.


Investigations of open-meetings complaints by the Kansas Attorney General's office  always zero in on one question: Was the meeting part of a governing board's decision-making process?
    If a majority of the board was present, and the board's business was discussed,  then the meeting should have been open to the public, said Assistant Attorney General Michael Smith. But if the meeting did not meet that test,it does not qualify as a public meeting under state law.
    The principle behind the Kansas Open Meetings Act is to make local government transparent to the people it serves, Smith said.
    "The point of all of this is to make sure that the decision-making process is held in the open so that you all, as citizens and members of these types of bodies, are conducting these things in the open," he said. "That's the guiding philosophy here."
    Smith gave the audience an overview of the Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts during a workshop Tuesday at Dodge City Community College, sponsored by the attorney general's office.
    The goal: Educate government officials, reporters and citizens about the state's sunshine laws and how to use them.
For the complete story go to http://dodgecitydailyglobe.ks.newsmemory.com/

EDITOR'S NOTE: See Thursday's edition of the Daily Globe for an overview of the Kansas Open Records Act.

Reach Eric Swanson at (620) 408-9917 or e-mail him at eric.swanson@dodgeglobe.com.