December 17th, 2019 – 4:30 PM
WZQZ Radio –
(Via WZQZ Radio) Cameras are not allowed at the Chattooga County Commissioner’s Office. That according to a policy that was posted at the commissioner’s office this week. However, the policy does not include cameras at a public meeting held at the commissioner’s office.
WZQZ News spoke with Commissioner Jason Winters on Tuesday afternoon. Commissioner Winters said that it has always been the policy of the commissioner’s office not to allow cameras in the office areas of the commissioner’s office where county employees working.
Winters said that in light of the meeting last Friday, the county fully expects there to be cameras at this week’s budget meeting on Friday. The commissioner said that the county attorney recommended that the policy be posted. According to the commissioner, at public meetings where there is security, cameras will be allowed as required by state law, but they will be “checked” at the door by security.
Commissioner Winters says that the policy has always been in place but has not been enforced.
Georgia’s Open Meetings Act, states “Visual and sound recording during open meetings shall be permitted.” (OCGA 50-14-1(c)). That applies to both the media and private citizens. Anyone can record public meetings or record in public areas. The law further says, “There is no provision in the law giving commissioners the ability to limit the number of recording devices allowed in an open meeting. Likewise, a county cannot allow some individuals or media to record a meeting, but exclude others.”
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