The Canvassing Board members of Palm Coast, Flagler County, Florida were recently holing a meeting to discuss various issues of local concern. However, when the members arrived for the meeting they discovered that Elections Supervisor, Kimberle Weeks, had hired a court reporter, Mary Graybosch, who was ready with her stenotype machine to transcribe the meeting.
This caused consternation among some of the members as they had not agreed to the appointment and wanted to know who would be paying for her services. They received the reply that it would be Weeks’ office.
It appears that the reason for hiring the court reporter came following the meeting on October 24 when Weeks fought with other members of the board over the minutes. The problem seemed to be that Weeks did not just write down the motions and actions to be taken, she recorded large parts of the actual conversations on her cell phone and then transcribed them.
Fellow Canvassing Board members were concerned about the minutes’ accuracy and voted on September 12 to have standard minutes, and during the October 24 meeting they approved that minutes may be taken by a member of the county staff. Weeks then objected, saying that she had always done the minutes and no one should do them for her, and went on to reject the county staff minutes. She suggested that if the board did not like her minutes that they hire a court reporter to have a verbatim transcript of the meetings transcribed. No decision was made on the idea, but she went ahead nonetheless.
Minutes of local government meetings are important as they can serve as an official (or semi-official) record of that which transpires during the meeting, and can also serve to inform the public of the proceedings of the meeting.