Huntington Mayor Jackie Wilson instructed the city council about open and public meetings. "The state regulations say we must have this training session," stated Mayor Wilson.
She told the council the Utah State Legislature enacted the Open and Public Meeting Act for every state agency and political subdivision to follow in conducting the people's business. It is the intent of this law that their actions are taken openly and their deliberations are conducted openly.
The definition of an open and public meeting is the convening of a public body when a quorum is present and is intended to include all gatherings of the city council or other committees of a municipality. This includes anything that looks like the public's business if they are supported by public funds. It is important to remember that a quorum of the body must be present.
Meetings which constitute a closed or executive session are those that discuss an individual's private information, collective bargaining strategy sessions, litigation discussions, sessions that discuss purchase, exchange or lease of real property, or discussions regarding the deployment of security devices and investigative proceedings. Before a closed session may be called, the body must be called into an open meeting with at least two thirds of the membership present.
All open meetings must be recorded, in addition to keeping written minutes. Closed meetings must also be recorded and written minutes kept.
Public notice must be given before any open meeting that is held. Notice is considered at least a 24 hour notice with postings and publication in a newspaper in the jurisdiction of the public body. The agendas of the meetings are to be posted in advance of the meeting unless the meeting is an emergency meeting with unforeseen circumstances requiring that meeting.
In other business conducted by Huntington City Council, the line item donation to Emery County Community Theater was approved. Linda Daley of the ECCT was on hand with the request.
The council also reviewed the policy of cost to open a grave site at the cemetery. The current ordinance states that the cost for non-residents is $275 as opposed to $125 for residents. Many people who have been longtime residents of Huntington may have relocated to rest homes or to live with children and their wish is to be buried in Huntington at their passing. The council approved to reduce the cost of a grave opening for non-residents to $200. Mayor Wilson also explained that people who have lived in Huntington for most of their lives and are only out of the city due to reasons associated with age are still considered residents of Huntington.
Mayor Wilson updated the council concerning the anticipated water situation for this summer season. The area stands at 51 percent of normal and is losing 2 percent each day that there is no significant precipitation. "The water situation is very dire. The north end of the county will have secondary water sometime around April 15, and the south end will probably not be until near April 27. Everyone is very concerned about the water situation and restrictions will be put in place," said Mayor Wilson.