Ohio offers guidance for town halls by phone
Ohio officials who conduct town halls by phone using taxpayer money should notify the public about the meetings and keep an agenda and minutes, according to the state’s auditor.
Auditor Dave Yost released proposed guidance on the teleconferences on Friday and is seeking public comment on the ideas before they are finalized in July.
The suggestions follow an attorney general opinion issued earlier this year that allowed Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel to hold telephone town halls.
Attorney General Mike DeWine’s opinion cleared Mandel to use taxpayer dollars to contract with a private firm specializing in organizing and conducting the calls as long as their content sticks to state treasurer’s office business and not politics.
Republicans DeWine and Mandel are up for re-election in November, as is Yost.
Mandel spokesman Chris Berry said Monday that the treasurer has had nine telephone town halls with about 111,000 Ohioans joining.