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Frankfort Electric and Water Plant Board Preemption Violations

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
744
Location
Central Ky.
A KC3 board member needed to return a cable TV box to FEWPB. For those not familiar with FEWPB, it is the municipal utility company for all of Frankfort and Franklin Co., parts of Woodford Co and parts of Shelby Co. FEWPB supplies electric service, drinking water, cable TV and internet services to those areas. It is a very large company. Our board member took his cable TV box to the main office and was told he would have to return it to a different office on Hickory Dr. When he arrived at that building he found a sign saying that concealed weapons were not allowed on the premises. You can see a picture of the sign here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/uepez302qm7ss50/IMG_0679%20%281%29.JPG?dl=0

This is the only "No Guns" sign on FEWPB property that I have been able to find.

I did a little investigating into who owns FEWPB and what authority they might have to ban guns and decided that they have none. I sent an Open Records Request for any policy that they might have and got this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vystdhwqcczq50t/FEWPB%20POLICY%283%29.pdf?dl=0

I have since been in touch with a staff attorney for FEWPB several times. They were completely unaware of KRS 65.870 and their responsibilities under it. The man I talked to said he was "shocked" that such a law would exist. I told him I was "shocked" that they would violate any law. It has been a long, hard education process to get him to unserstand that FEWPB has no authority to ban guns. He, in turn, has had to pass that along to the board members. This was all supposed to be fixed at the monthly board meeting in July. I went to that meeting and found out that they intended to pass a policy that was "word for word" the same the City of Frankfort's ordinance banning concealed weapons. I had to stop them and try to explain that they didn't have the authority to do that. They decided to scrap that idea and do a little more research. This Tuesday evening, August 21, they will have the August meeting. I have been told that at this meeting the attorney is going to recommend that they rescind all policies on firearms and remove the sign. The final decision will be with the board members and they will be the only ones to vote on any changes. I will be there just in case there are any misunderstandings again. Some of the board members are not happy about this and some of them don't understand it, so there could be some votes against this plan, but this should be the end of this problem, assuming all goes well. I'll post the final results after the meeting.
 
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gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
744
Location
Central Ky.
I went to the monthly meeting of FEWPB tonight. The meeting lasted 6 hours. The board voted to rescind the firearms policy and remove the sign. The vote was unanimous. They also plan on asking for an opinion from the Attorney General's office on how KRS 65.870 relates to municipal utilities. Tonight's agenda can be seen here (the firearms issue is # 16 on the list. Damn meeting lasted 6 hours and was still going on when they finished with the gun issue and I left):
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/509ac5d5e4b011ec8327ecea/t/5b7320c1aa4a996b78d4891e/1534271681641/Agenda+8.21.18.pdf
 

color of law

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Oct 7, 2007
Messages
5,117
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
16. Action Item: Revise Board Policy to Repeal Any Policy Inconsistent with KRS 65.870 and Seek an AG Opinion Regarding Application of KRS 65.870 and KRS 237.115 to Municipal Plant Boards.
Item 16 of 20 items on the agenda. They were hoping that gutshot II would leave or at least fall asleep. He did neither.
 

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
744
Location
Central Ky.
Item 16 of 20 items on the agenda. They were hoping that gutshot II would leave or at least fall asleep. He did neither.
I wish you were right. I did fall asleep at one point. Meeting started at 5, gun vote was taken at 10:30. They were still going when I left. Board went onto private session.
 

Grapeshot

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Valhalla
I wish you were right. I did fall asleep at one point. Meeting started at 5, gun vote was taken at 10:30. They were still going when I left. Board went onto private session.
Conducted no official business then - sunshine/open meeting law?
 

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
744
Location
Central Ky.
Conducted no official business then - sunshine/open meeting law?
No. Official business can be conducted in private under certain circumstances. There are several exemptions to the Ky. Open Meetings Act. Some meetings, by their nature are exempt in their entireity. In some cases a portion of an open meeting may be closed for discussion of sensitive material.

What subjects may be discussed in a closed session?
The Open Meetings Act permits a public agency to discuss certain subjects in a closed or executive meeting if notice is given in the regular meeting of the general nature of the business to be discussed, and the agency cites the specific exemption authorizing the closed session. A closed session may be held only after a motion is made and carried in open session, and no final action may be taken in closed session. The exemptions to the Open Meetings Act include:
(a) Deliberations of the Kentucky Parole Board.
(b) Deliberations on the future acquisition or sale of real property by a public agency when publicity would be likely to affect the value of the property;
(c) Discussions of proposed or pending litigation involving a
public agency;
(d) Grand or petit jury sessions;
(e) Collective bargaining negotiations between public employers
and their employees;
(f) Discussions or hearings that might lead to the appointment,
dismissal, or discipline of an individual employee, member, or
student. However, general personnel matters may not be
discussed in private;
(g) Discussions between an agency and a representative of a
business entity in relation to a specific proposal if open
discussion would jeopardize the siting, retention, expansion, or
upgrading of the business;
(h) State and local cabinet meetings and executive cabinet
meetings;
(i) Committees of the General Assembly other than standing
committees;
(j) Deliberations of judicial or quasi-judicial bodies involving
individual adjudications or appointments. This does not
include meetings of planning commissions, zoning
commissions, or boards of adjustment;
(k) and (l) Meetings which federal or state law or the Constitution require to be conducted privately;
(m) Portions of meetings devoted to a discussion of a specific
public record exempted from disclosure under KRS
61.878(1)(m) (the homeland security exemption).
(n) Meetings of any selection committee, evaluation committee, or other similar group established under KRS Chapter 45A or 56 to select a successful bidder for award of a state contract.
 
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Grapeshot

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No. Official business can be conducted in private under certain circumstances. There are several exemptions to the Ky. Open Meetings Act. Some meetings, by their nature are exempt in their entireity. In some cases a portion of an open meeting may be closed for discussion of sensitive material.

What subjects may be discussed in a closed session?
--snipped--
(n) Meetings of any selection committee, evaluation committee, or other similar group established under KRS Chapter 45A or 56 to select a successful bidder for award of a state contract.
I find that troubling.
 
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Grapeshot

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Which part of it do you find troubling? The part where they can make the decision in a closed session or the part that they can make one at all under any circumstances.
The part where they can award a contract w/o explaining why to that particular contractor.
 

OC for ME

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Jan 6, 2010
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12,274
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White Oak Plantation
Selection committee activities should be sealed until the selection of a vendor/contractor is announced then the selection criteria/process must be made public. This precludes graft and nepotism...tax dollars and all.
 

gutshot II

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
744
Location
Central Ky.
The part where they can award a contract w/o explaining why to that particular contractor.
Once the decision is made and the contract awarded, all of the information will become public and will be available to all parties that are interested, if there are any such persons. The only part of the process that is done in private session is the discussion of the bids and vote on which bid to accept and why. Allowing the bidding process to be done in the open would lead to chaos as each bidder attempted to bid and rebid to undercut any other bidder and influence the process. Keeping it secret makes for an fair and orderly bidding process.
 
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