ANDERSON — In a closed door executive session, members of the Anderson Community Schools Board of Trustees voted to request 15 percent of Tax Increment Financing revenues from the City of Anderson.

Jeff Barranco, a member of the school board, requested 15 percent of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds at the Anderson Redevelopment Commission and Anderson City Council meetings.

During the city council meeting on Thursday, when asked if there was public discussion and a public vote on the funding request, Barranco said it took place in an executive session. 

The action behind closed doors by the school board could be in violation of the Indiana Open Door law.

State law prohibits the casting of votes in an executive session.

“The Open Door Law clearly states that any final action by a governing body must be done in a meeting open to the public,” Steve Key, executive director and general counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association, said Friday. “The vote to make the request should not have been taken in an executive session.”

ACS attorney Charles Rubright did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

According to the law, topics that can be discussed during an executive session include: collective bargaining strategy; initiation of litigation or litigation pending or threatened; implementation of security systems; purchase or lease of property; interviews and negotiations with industrial or commercial prospects; interviews with prospective employees; information about employee misconduct or job performance; and students' placement and past performance. 

The ACS board regularly meets in executive session before or after scheduled public meetings.

The executive session notice for January listed as topics of discussion including school safety and the training of board members.

The February notice of executive session listed topics to be considered including collective bargaining, litigation, purchase or lease of property, school consolidation, security, interviewing of prospective employees and job performance.

“I would also question the school board as to the basis for discussing the TIF revenue share in an executive session and whether the notice of the executive session when this was discussed reflected that claimed legal basis,” Key said.

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