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County official criticizes alleged violation of transparency laws

July 30, 2013

Transparency and open government issues can arise in the strangest of situations - even when discussing chickens. According to the Virginia Gazette, James City County Supervisor Jim Kennedy recently raised concerns that he and his fellow supervisors violated state open government law by discussing county policy regarding ownership of chickens in closed session recently.

"We were wrong to discuss it in closed session last night," Kennedy said in an interview Wednesday. "I brought up the issue of chickens [in relation to County Administrator Bob Middaugh's performance] review. Not the policy side of it. I felt we didn't handle it properly."

The topic was not on the agenda of that evenings meeting, and by state law, was in violation, as the law states that no policy decisions can be made in closed session. The county supervisor's office has not disclosed whether any policy decisions were made regarding the chicken discussion during the meeting.

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