The Greene County Clerk and Commission will be co-hosting a free Sunshine Law Workshop on July 26 to educate government employees, communications professionals and media about Chapter 610 of the Revised Missouri Statutes, or the Missouri Sunshine Law.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Missouri State University’s Darr Agricultural Center. Event partners include Missouri State University, Missouri Sunshine Coalition, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Events, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law and the Missouri Association of Counties.
County Clerk Shane Schoeller said the Sunshine Law can be multifaceted depending on the nature of the information being requested. Correctly interpreting the appropriate reply can be a challenge for non-attorneys and those who have no formalized training in the Sunshine Law.
“When a Sunshine law violation occurs it is not unlikely that it occurred due to unfamiliarity with the law and its proper implementation,” Schoeller said. “We envision this workshop as a way to push past the legalese to bring about a greater understanding of our responsibilities as government bodies. It’s also a unique opportunity to get government and public information folks in a room with members of the media to establish a dialogue to help ensure both the intent and spirit of the Sunshine Law are upheld.”
The schedule is as follows:
8 to 9 a.m.: Registration and breakfast
9 a.m. to Noon: What is the Sunshine Law? Experts will offer a comprehensive overview of and insights into the Missouri Sunshine Law. This session will lay the groundwork to help you develop best practices for implementing the law in your organization. (Presenters: Dr. Mark A. Paxton, media law professor at Missouri State University; Jean Maneke, Chief Legal Counsel for Missouri Press Association; Darrell Moore, Deputy Attorney General & former Greene County Prosecutor; and John Housley, Greene County counsel & attorney with Lowther Johnson Attorneys At Law, LLC)
Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch provided, thanks to our generous sponsors.
1 to 3:30 p.m.: What is your perspective? A panel will engage journalists, city and county clerks, professors, citizens and elected officials about their experiences with public records and answer questions about laws and statutory requirements. (Panelists: (moderator) Dr. Jonathan Groves, MO Sunshine Coalition; Amos Bridges, Springfield News-Leader; Jennifer Moore, KSMU Radio; Valerie Petersen, Greene County Sheriff’s Office; Brenda Cirtin, Ozark Transportation Organization & former City Clerk for City of Springfield; Roger Hulbert, Sage Information Systems)
Attendees are welcome to come to one or both sessions as well as lunch. For more details and a link to RSVP, contact Trysta Herzog, Greene County communications director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.