Original Author: Darden, Ron
Date of Material: 07/30/2012
Parks and recreation--Finance
Open meetings--Laws and regulations
Reviewed Date: 04/16/2021
MTAS was asked for clarification on appropriating funds for the use of a recreation committee.
Mr. Charles Tucker, City Manager
City of Whitwell
13671 Highway 28
Whitwell, Tennessee 37397
Dear Mr. Tucker
You have asked MTAS for clarification on appropriating funds for the use of a recreation committee.
In reviewing the city’s ordinances, I could not find where the city commission appointed a recreation committee, commission or board. Perhaps it was done by resolution.
Regardless of how the recreation committee was created, the appropriation of public funds to a recreation committee is subject to the city’s purchasing and financial accounting system. While the recreation committee may decide how the funds will be used (unless the city commission has imposed restrictions on the appropriation), such expenditures are subject to the city’s financial accounting and purchasing regulations. The recreation committee should coordinate its purchasing and accounting through the city’s finance director. Since city commission members may be personally liable for the illegal appropriation and use of such funds, I recommend that all such appropriations and expenditures be subject to the control of the city’s finance director.
Although I do not know how many city commission members are on the recreation committee, if any, I would like to point out that recreation committee meetings are subject to the open meeting laws when two or more city commission members meet with the committee and public notice of the meeting must be given. If no city commission members are on or meeting with the recreation committee, generally, the recreation committee meetings are not subject to the open meeting laws.
Please call me at 615-772-3031 if you have questions or comments.
Municipal Management Consultant
Letter to Tucker July 30.pdf