panel to meet openly
The South Mountain Freeway advisory committee decided Thursday night to keep its meetings open to the public, even though it has been determined the citizens group could legally close them.
The state Attorney General's Office said the South Mountain Citizens Advisory Team is not subject to the state's Open Meeting Law because the group is not required by law and because members volunteer their time, according to Matt Burdick, community relations director for the Arizona Department of Transportation.
He also told the group that ADOT officials have determined they would not participate in any meetings behind closed doors, to avoid the appearance of secrecy.
Members had asked if they could close some meetings or parts of meetings because of dismay at some recent news coverage and because they wanted to be free to speak their mind when it comes time to recommend a route for the proposed freeway south of Ahwatukee Foothills.