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Chapter 105: Open Meetings

Section 105.01 Definition of a Public Body

As used in this Chapter, “public body” shall include only those entities of Cuyahoga County government listed in Article 12, Section 5 of the Cuyahoga County Charter.

(Ordinance Nos. O2011-0013, Enacted 9/13/2011, Effective 9/14/2011; O2011-0003, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Section 105.02 State Law to Control Public Meetings Policy in Cuyahoga County Government

As provided in Article 12, Section 5 of the Cuyahoga County Charter, all meetings of the Council and any committee, board, commission, agency, or authority of the County, as well as any similar body created by the Charter or by the County Council, shall be open to the public as provided by general law. 

(Ordinance Nos. O2011-0013, Enacted 9/13/2011, Effective 9/14/2011; O2011-0003, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Section 105.03 Public Participation

  1. Public Comment. In addition to the requirements provided for in Section 105.02 of the County Code, any meeting of a public body, as defined in Section 105.01 of the County Code, that must be open to the public under the Open Meetings Act or other general law pursuant to Section 105.02 of the County Code shall also include time at the beginning of the meeting for public comment related to the agenda for that day's meeting.  Every such meeting shall also include time for public comment related to that meeting's purposes but not related to that day's agenda. Such comments may be heard either at the same time as comment related to that day's agenda or at a later time during the meeting. 
  2. Procedure for Public Comment. Any public body conducting a public meeting covered under Section 105.01 of the County Code may establish rules to regulate its public comment process, including completion of a brief registration form and a reasonable time limit on presentations, provided that such rules provide fair and equal treatment for all presenters and are no more restrictive than what is required to promote the orderly conduct of official business.
  3. Decorum at Public Meetings. Any public body may adopt rules to insure decorum at its meetings, provided that such rules also protect the free and appropriate expression of ideas.  
  4. Wireless Communication Devices. Any public body may prohibit the use of audible wireless communications devices at its meetings. 
  5. Filming, Taping and Recording or Meetings. Any person may film, tape or record any public meeting in ways that do not significantly disrupt the conduct of official business. Any public body may request persons wishing to film, tape, or record any of their meetings to register with their clerk or secretary but shall also clearly state that such registration is not required.  
  6. Requirements. The requirements in this chapter do not apply to any gatherings of public officials that do not constitute a meeting under the Ohio Open Meetings Act, such as quasi-judicial hearings, staff meetings, collective bargaining negotiations, or conducting employee interviews.

(Ordinance Nos. O2011-0013, Enacted 9/13/2011, Effective 9/14/2011; O2011-0003, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)

Section 105.04 Preparation of Pamphlet Describing Public Meeting Process

The Clerk of County Council shall post on the County Council's website a copy, or a link if possible, of the Ohio Open Meetings Act section of the most up-to-date version of the Ohio Attorney General and Ohio Auditor's Sunshine Law Manual.  The Clerk of County Council shall also provide a printed copy of the combined summary and the Open Meetings Act section of the Sunshine Law Manual at no charge to any person upon request.

(Ordinance Nos. O2011-0013, Enacted 9/13/2011, Effective 9/14/2011;  O2011-0003, Enacted 1/3/2011, Effective 1/10/2011)