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Barbara Herrin of ECARD presses suit
posted Nov 6, 2013 - 1:26:50pm
Prevented from speaking at a Deltona City Commission meeting about the massive Farmton development, Volusia County resident Barbara Herrin has asked the Florida Supreme Court to rule on the public's right to participate in government meetings.
Herrin and a group called the Edgewater Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development argued in a brief last week prepared by DeLand attorney Tanner Andrews that a decision by the Deltona City Commission to not allow public input conflicted with decades of legal precedent.
"The court should clarify that public input is not 'interference with the decision-making process' but rather an essential part of legitimate government,'' said the brief, which seeks to have the Supreme Court take up the case.
The 5th District Court of Appeal earlier this year ruled against Herrin, saying that the state's Sunshine Law does not mention the right to be heard or participate in meetings.
"The phrase 'open to the public' most reasonably means that meetings must be properly noticed and reasonably accessible to the public, not that the public has the right to be heard at such meetings,'' the appeals court found.
The Supreme Court has not indicated whether it will take up the case. The case is listed as a "high-profile" case on the Florida Supreme Court website, however.
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