#Ohio Councilman Faces Lawsuit For His Failure To Support Tax Increases

Posted: June 3, 2015 in Politics

Members of the City Council, who are being sued over the state’s open meetings act, filed a counter suit, claiming one councilman is making too many requests for public records and isn’t supporting tax increases.

It started earlier this year when Councilman Bill Brownlee and resident John Chapman sued the Maple Heights council claiming it violated Ohio’s open meetings act by holding an illegal executive session and failing to properly keep minutes of various work sessions and caucuses.

The countersuit, filed by the city’s assistant law director on behalf of the council, denies the council violated the open meetings rules.

It claims Brownlee isn’t doing his job as a member of council because he has opposed various revenue enhancements, including tax and property tax increases and traffic camera programs.

The countersuit  says the council censured Brownlee —  a direct result of the alleged illegal executive session that was the subject of the original suit — and Brownlee’s lawsuit is retaliation for the censure.

Brownlee’s attorney, Chris Finney, called the filing “frivolous.”

“It is hard to fully respond to the counterclaim on Brownlee in the Open Meetings case, because in my 30(plus) years of being an attorney I never have seen something so incredibly frivolous, baseless in the law,” Finney wrote in an email.

In the filing, the council claims members of the body have a duty to “oversee the financial where-with-all of the city by providing for revenue streams into the city.” They argue the obligation to provide basic city services requires them to “introduce, promote and pass legislation for the betterment of the Maple Heights community.

Full Story @ [watchdog]

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