2018-05-16 / Opinion

Archbold Traffic Flow Improvement Committee Holds First Open Meeting

A first-of-its-kind event took place Tuesday, May 8, when the Archbold Traffic Flow Improvement Committee held its first meeting that was open to the public, including the press.

This is important, because the committee was specifically created to elude the public and the press. Kenneth “Skip” Leupp, a German Township Trustee, suggested forming the committee back in March, during the last days of the proposed rerouting of St. Rt. 66 along Co. Rd. 24.

His idea was if there weren’t enough elected officials from any one group– such as the Fulton County Commissioners, German Township Trustees, or Archbold Village Council– to qualify as a meeting under state law, the meeting would not be a “meeting.” Since it wasn’t a meeting, the press and the public couldn’t attend.

Leupp, and others, thought if the doors could be shut they could make a deal without the meddling public or their agents– nosy newspaper reporters– getting in the way.

The charade was brought to a halt when another area newspaper challenged the status of ATFIC. That paper argued the committee itself is a public body, and therefore, had to comply with Ohio law.

The matter went to Bob Bohmer, an Archbold village solicitor, who agreed that ATFIC was, in fact, a public body, and must be open.

The decision is a victory for the public, who can now see how decisions involving their tax dollars are being made.

To our colleagues at the challenging newspaper: well done.

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