BREAKING NEWS: Spalding Board of Elections votes in private executive session outside public view

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The Spalding County Board of Elections during its Tuesday morning special called meeting held two votes in executive session outside the public view.

Those votes were not repeated once the public meeting was resumed as required by the Georgia Open Meetings law.

After being called to order at 10 a.m., the public meeting adjourned to executive session which lasted almost three hours.

At its conclusion, Chairman Margaret Bentley announced two votes had been taken during the executive session.

“As a result of our executive session, we moved, the decision was made to direct the supervisor to review training and SOP as it related to this election,” Bentley announced.

The second vote pertained to the job performance of Spalding County Election Supervisor Marcia Ridley.

“The other issue that we voted on was the majority of the board voted, made a vote of confidence, in the ability of the election supervisor for the job performance – for her job performance – at this time,” Bentley stated. “Those are the decisions that we voted on during the course of our executive session.”
At that time The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews interjected.

Mathews – So, these votes were in private in executive session, not in public?

Bentley – Executive session is a closed meeting. It’s not open to the public.

Mathews – I’m aware of that, but the votes were made in executive session, not in open meeting?

Bentley – Yes, they were made in our executive session. That’s why we called back the meeting because we did vote and make a decision during the course of the meeting.

Governing bodies are permitted in limited circumstances to discuss business during executive session and preliminary votes may be taken at times. However, those preliminary votes must be repeated once the public meeting has resumed.

The Spalding County Board of Elections did not publicly vote on either of the decisions reached during the Tuesday morning executive session.

The GRIP will follow up with another article on these Board of Elections votes this evening.

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