Sarasota News Leader

12/06/2013

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CITY BRIEFS City advisory board members will get more 'marching orders' about how to conduct public business. Photo by Norman Schimmel ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS 'GO TO THE WOODSHED' OVER THE SUNSHINE LAWS AND A PAYNE PARK MASTER PLANNING WORKSHOP IS SCHEDULED By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Members of the city's multitude of advisory boards received telephone calls this week from city staffers reminding them in the strongest terms to use their city email accounts for city work, and not to discuss any city business in communications on their personal computers. At the advisory boards' next meetings, the members will be confronted by a representative of the City Auditor and Clerk's Office and her director of information technology, bearing handouts with new email addresses and passwords, as well as the log-in for a new two-minute tutorial on public email and the Florida public records laws plus a sternly worded document they all must sign to acknowledge understanding of advisory board members' responsibilities. The info blitz is a result of a City Commission demand for immediate action during the Monday, Dec. 2, meeting, when one of the boards was found to have been using private email accounts. A public records request led to private computer files being scrutinized by a "forensic" professional to extract — if possible — the public records. This is the second time this year for such an incident. Both errant advisory boards are responsible for spending tax dollars.

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