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First Shot

A Constitution Revision Commissioner now is raising questions on how “open” the panel is going to be when it comes to open meetings.

At the commission’s Rules Committee meeting Tuesday, Commissioner Bob Solari sought to clarify whether a CRC “meeting” that requires notice and be open to the public can be as few as two commissioners, or whether two commissioners can meet out of the “sunshine.”

The commission is formed every 20 years to review and suggest changes to the state’s governing document. Any amendments it places directly on the 2018 statewide ballot still must be OK’d by 60 percent of voters to be added to the constitution.

“At this point, I don’t feel right talking too much about anything with any commissioner,” Solari said, adding a fellow member is proposing an amendment he believes is “fatally flawed.”

“I’d like to just to give (that person) a heads up,” added Solari, an Indian River County Commissioner. “But I believe that I can’t.”

Commission rule 1.23 on open meetings and records just says, “All proceedings and records … shall be open to the public.”

A coalition of progressive groups already has asked for clarification, urging the body to use the Sunshine Law standard that prohibits two or more commissioners from meeting privately.

Rules chair Tim Cerio has previously said his understanding is that the commission will use the Legislature’s standard, which allows no more than two members to meet privately.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Cerio told Solari to talk with general counsel William Spicola and “then we can discuss more widely publishing that advice.”

“There’s nothing wrong with getting transparency over what the rule is,” Cerio said.

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