Over the weekend, AroundAmbler.com looked for the agenda for the January 18th meeting of Ambler’s Borough Council to write a follow-up article on the proposed ordinance to limit the use of single-use plastics in the borough.
The agenda wasn’t uploaded yet, so we looked again on Monday several times. Nothing there. The agenda had to be made available on the borough’s website by 7:00 p.m. due to an update to the Sunshine Act in 2021.
From the “Legal Hotline” section of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association’s website:
Senate Bill 554, Act 65 of 2021, was signed into law on June 30, 2021 and takes effect in 60 days on August 29. No later than the effective date, agencies covered by the Sunshine Act are required to provide at least 24 hours advance notice of the meeting agenda, including, at a minimum, a listing of each matter of agency business that will be or may be the subject of deliberation or official action at the upcoming meeting.
If the agency maintains a website, this agenda information must be posted on the website no later than 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to take place. The agenda must also be posted at the meeting location and must be made available to individuals attending the meeting.
If an agency plans to talk about or take official action on a matter of agency business, it must note it on the agenda so that the public is informed and can attend the meeting, if they are so inclined.
As of 7:33 a.m. on Tuesday, January 18th (the day of the scheduled meeting) the agenda was still not available and AroundAmbler.com sent an email to inquire. We received the following response from Borough Manager Mary Aversa:
We are aware of the requirement and there was an issue with our scanning to the website, we are rescheduling the meeting.
This is the second public meeting that has been canceled following an inquiry from AroundAmbler.com and its sister publications. MoreThanTheCurve.com inquired about an agenda not being posted in Conshohocken in December of 2021 and that meeting was canceled as well.
The agenda for the meeting that was to be held today in Ambler was added to the website at approximately 8:30 a.m.
We will provide an update when we know the rescheduled date for the meeting.
UPDATE – The borough shared the following update on Facebook (note the all caps is how it was posted):
THE BOROUGH JANUARY 18, 2022 COUNCIL MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING THE PLASTICS ORDINANCE IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE COMPLETE AGENDA NOT BEING POSTED TO THE WEBSITE. AN ERROR OCCURED AND ONLY ONE PAGE OF THE AGENDA WAS POSTED . THE NEXT MEETING DATE IS THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED FEBRUARY 1ST COMMITTEE MEETING AT 7PM. A PUBLIC HEARING REGARDING THE PLASTICS ORDINANCE WILL ALSO TAKE PLACE AT THAT DATE AND TIME.