Terry Mutchler, executive director of the state’s Office of Open Records.
Luzerne County Reporter
The public should have access to the inner workings of Luzerne County home rule subcommittees, say three experts on the state’s open meeting law.
Unwarranted closed-door meetings “fracture public trust,” said Terry Mutchler, executive director of the state’s Office of Open Records.
...“If they’ve opened the committee meetings to the public, it’s a natural follow that the subcommittee meetings be open as well,” Mutchler said, noting that her office has no legal jurisdiction over alleged violations of the Sunshine Act governing open meetings.
Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel with the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, said the Sunshine Act applies to committees of an agency that render advice, which would include the subcommittees.
“I think the language of the law is pretty clear. I think members of the public who are seeking public access are very legitimate in doing so. I think they have a strong argument,” she said.