Could a Website Bridge the Gap Between Knox County Government and Citizens?

(WVLT) - A Knoxville republican wants to use technology to solve what he says are problems with Tennessee's Open Meetings Act.

The Open Meetings Act, also called the Sunshine Law, states that public business should not be conducted in secret.

A violation of that law by the Knox County Commission earlier this year forced 8 commissioners and 4 other county wide office holders out of office.

Representative Bill Dunn says he wants to make it easier for officials to conduct business while also balancing the public's right to know.

Dunn is working on a bill that would allow elected persons to set up websites where they can send each other instant messages, that would also be available for the public and media to view.

He says that method of "letting the sunshine in" will make it much easier for the public to be informed even if they can't make it to scheduled commission meetings.

Dunn also says a legislative study committee is examining the issue and is expected to bring legislation for the next session.

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