Tag Archives: blog

Nydia Tisdale returns to city council where she was thrown out for videoing

Remember Nydia Tisdale, who got illegally ejected from a Cumming City Council meeting for videoing an open meeting? She’s back, in the front row, videoing.

Previously we called Cumming someplace worse than here. But look at this:

A city of Cumming audio-visual recording policy sheet was available outside council chambers.

“Handheld audio and/or visual recording devices may be used from any location within the public seating area,” wrote Gerald Blackburn, city administrator. “No audio and/or visual recording device may be set up in the aisles.”

Hm, that’s better than the Lowndes County Commission, whose chair Ashley Paulk famously said,

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Someplace worse than here

Eric Stirgus wrote for the AJC 25 April 2012, PolitiFact: For the record, it’s OK to record council meetings,

Meetings of the Cumming City Council rarely make the evening news, but that changed last week with video of a woman being tossed out of the public gathering.

The woman, Nydia Tisdale, was attempting to film the council’s meeting April 17, but she was told that was not going to happen.

“We don’t allow filming inside of the City Hall here,” Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said, “unless there is a specific reason.”

Hm, what does state law say?

Title 50, Section 14 of the Georgia Open Meetings Act:

“[v]isual, sound, and visual and sound recording during open meetings shall be permitted”

Stirgus notes some irony:

In a strange bit of timing, Tisdale was tossed from the council meeting on the same day Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 397, a revised state law on open meetings and records aimed at providing greater access to documents and public meetings.

The Georgia Attorney General’s Office is investigating, as well it should. The investigation shouldn’t take long, since the entire incident is on video. Meanwhile, the mayor keeps digging:

Gravitt also explained that he had concerns that allowing one camera and tripod in would embolden multiple people to bring in cameras and tripods into a meeting.

Then people might know what’s going on!

Here’s the video:

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Videos of entire Lowndes County Board of Education meeting of 30 August 2011

Here’s a playlist of the entire 30 August 2011 Lowndes County Board of Education meeting of 30 August 2011. As you can see, it really was almost all about approving a resolution against school consolidation. We’ve already posted that resolution and the unanimous vote.

The actual resolution is a model of such things: simple and easy to read, yet complete enough to cover the territory, and leaving no doubts as to the board’s position. Congratulations to LCBOE on that resolution!

Playlist, called meeting, Lowndes County Board of Education (LCBOE),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 30 August 2011.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman and John S. Quarterman
for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

Let me also take a moment to thank some LCBOE staff. Continue reading