WHERE IS THE ENFORCEMENT?
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
CHAPTER 6, ARTICLE 9A “SUNSHINE LAW”
ARTICLE 9A. OPEN GOVERNMENTAL PROCEEDINGS.
§ 6-9A-1. DECLARATION OF LEGISLATIVE POLICY.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that public agencies in this state exist for the singular purpose of representing citizens of this state in governmental affairs, and it is, therefore, in the best interests of the people of this state for the proceedings of public agencies to be conducted openly, with only a few clearly defined exceptions. The Legislature hereby further finds and declares that the citizens of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the governmental agencies that serve them. The people in delegating authority do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for them to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments of government created by them.
Open government allows the public to educate itself about government decisionmaking through individuals’ attendance and participation at government functions, distribution of government information by the press or interested citizens, and public debate on issues deliberated within the government.
Public access to information promotes attendance at meetings, improves planning of meetings, and encourages more thorough preparation and complete discussion of issues by participating officials. The government also benefits from openness because better preparation and public input allow government agencies to gauge public preferences accurately and thereby tailor their actions and policies more closely to public needs….
CHAPTER 6B. PUBLIC OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; ETHICS; CONFLICTS OF INTEREST; FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.
ARTICLE 1. SHORT TITLE; LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS, PURPOSES AND INTENT; CONSTRUCTION AND APPLICATION OF CHAPTER; SEVERABILITY.
§6B-1-1. Short title.
This chapter shall be known as the “West Virginia Governmental Ethics Act.”
§6B-1-2. Legislative findings, purpose, declaration and intent.
(d) It is declared that high moral and ethical standards among public officials and public employees are essential to the conduct of free government; that the Legislature believes that a code of ethics for the guidance of public officials and public employees will help them avoid conflicts between their personal interests and their public responsibilities, will improve standards of public service and will promote and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in their public officials and public employees.
§18-1-4. Vision 2020: An Education Blueprint for Two Thousand Twenty.
(4) The public education system will maintain and promote the health and safety of all students and will develop and promote responsibility, citizenship and strong character in all students…
CONSTITUTION OF WEST VIRGINIA
2-2. POWERS OF GOVERNMENT IN CITIZENS.
The powers of government reside in all the citizens of the state, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment.
4-6. PROVISIONS FOR REMOVAL OF OFFICIALS.
All officers elected or appointed under this constitution, may, unless in cases herein otherwise provided for, be removed from office for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, or gross immorality, in such manner as may be prescribed by general laws, and unless so removed they shall continue to discharge the duties of their respective offices until their successors are elected, or appointed and qualified.
PROCEDURAL RULE – WV BOARD OF EDUCATION
NOTICE AND CONDUCT OF MEETINGS (1241)
1.1. Scope – This procedural rule establishes requirements for notice of general and special meetings and general rules for conduct of said meetings.
1.2. Authority – W.Va. Constitution, Article XII, Section 2, W.Va. Code § §18-2-5, 6-9A-1, et seq. and 29B-1-1, et seq.
1.3. Filing Date – January 10, 2002
1.4. Effective Date – February 9, 2002
1.5. Repeal of former rule. This procedural rule modifies WV 126CSR3 “Notice and Conduct of Meetings” filed and effective January 6, 1996.
2.1. The Constitution of West Virginia provides in Article II, Section 2, that: “the powers of government reside in all the citizens of the State, and can be rightfully exercised only in accordance with their will and appointment;”
2.2. This constitutional mandate is reiterated in various forms in Sections 1, 2, 3, 10, 16 and 20 of Article III of the Constitution of West Virginia;
2.3. The West Virginia Legislature has provided in Article 9A of Chapter 6 that all regular and special meetings of governing bodies shall be open to the people of the State and that the people shall be given reasonable advance notice of the time, date and location of their being convened: Provided, however, that governing bodies may hold executive sessions as part of duly convened regular, special or emergency meetings under certain circumstances as permitted by law;
2.4. The Legislature has provided in Section 3, Article 9A, Chapter 6, of the West Virginia Code that:
Each governing body shall promulgate rules by which the time and place of all regularly scheduled meetings and the time, place and purpose of all special meetings are made available, in advance, to the public and news media, except in the event of an emergency requiring immediate official attention; and,
2.5. The Legislature, in Section 1, Article 1, Chapter 29B, of the West Virginia Code has:
. . . declared [it] to be the public policy of the State of West Virginia that all persons are, unless otherwise expressly provided by law, entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees; and,
2.6. The West Virginia Board of Education, in pursuance of Article XII of the Constitution of West Virginia, recognizes that it has a responsibility to see that the people of the State are thoroughly, efficiently and freely educated, and that this responsibility takes many forms.
MONONGALIA COUNTY SCHOOLS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE: 2- 03 SCHOOL BOARD POWERS AND DUTIES
5. Estimate and seek to provide funds for the operation, support, maintenance, improvement and extension of the school system;
MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE: 2- 08 SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER CODE OF ETHICS
4. That my fellow board members and I must take the initiative in helping all the people of this county to have all the facts all the time about their schools, to the end that they will readily provide the finest possible school program, school staff, and school facilities.
8. To welcome and encourage active cooperation by citizens, organizations, and the media of communication in the county with respect to establishing policy or current school operation and proposed future developments.
MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE 3- 01 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The Board, Superintendent, and other members of the administrative team have the primary responsibility of designing an organization, which can accomplish the educational mission of the district in an effective, efficient, and economical manner.
The Superintendent and the board have the overall administrative responsibility for the entire district…. Working cooperatively at the direction of the Superintendent and the Board, the administrators in Monongalia County are responsible for the long-range planning, resource determination, program implementation, and total evaluation necessary to provide the patrons of the public schools the best possible education at the lowest possible cost.
MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE 3- 02 SUPERINTENDENT QUALIFICATIONS AND DUTIES
Legal duties and responsibilities of the Superintendent are listed in the West Virginia Code. The Superintendent shall have the following duties and responsibilities:
9. Keep the county board apprised continuously of any issues that affect the county board or its schools, programs and initiatives. The county superintendent shall report to the county board on these issues using any appropriate means agreeable to both parties. When practicable, the reports shall be fashioned to include a broad array of data and information that the county board may consult to aid in making decisions…
MONONGALIA COUNTY FILE: 4- 01 FISCAL MANAGEMENT GOALS
With respect to the school system’s fiscal management, the Board seeks to achieve the following goals:
1. To engage in thorough advance planning, with broad-based staff and Board involvement, in order to develop budgets and direct expenditures in order to achieve maximum contributions to the educational program in relation to dollars expended.