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K-town Town Council Misses Budget Hearing
August 27, 2008 - The town of Knightstown has rescheduled its public hearing on the town's proposed 2009 budget after failing to hold the hearing last Thursday, the date it was supposed to have been held.
According to the budget notice Knightstown published in the July 23 and 30 issues of The Banner, a public hearing on the budget was supposed to have been held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21. While the council did go ahead and hold its regular monthly meeting at that time, a public hearing on the budget was not held.
About 16 minutes into last Thursday's meeting, the council reached its first item of new business, which was the 2009 budget. However, because Clerk-Treasurer Judy Haines was not in attendance, the council voted to table further discussion of the budget until she could be present to provide information and answer questions.
While the town had advertised that the public hearing on the budget would be last Thursday, citizens who attended that night's meeting were never given an opportunity to ask questions or comment on the proposed 2009 budget. While the council voted that night to schedule a special meeting for 3 p.m. Aug. 26 to go over the budget, they never stated that the public hearing originally set for Aug. 21 would be held at that time.
Indiana Public Access Counselor Heather Neal told The Banner on Monday that she thought the town needed to re-advertise its budget and the new hearing date in the same manner it had done in late July. Besides complying with the Open Door Law's 48-hour notice requirement, she said the town also needed to abide by the statutes that govern publication procedures for notices of public hearings on budgets.
Indiana statute requires Knightstown's budget notice, which must state the time and place of the public hearing on the budget, to be published twice in The Banner, with the first notice at least 10 days before the hearing. At the outset of Tuesday's special meeting, council members agreed to re-advertise the public hearing on the budget twice more, with the hearing being held at the council's next regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 18.
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