A pointed exchange during the May work session of the Trenton City
Commission took place all in the name of privacy.
While discussing expenditure from 2020, Mayor Joseph Case explained the town received
money from the federal government through the Cares Act during the
pandemic. Money from the Cares Act cares act paid for a texting software
program, Text.gov that allowed residents to text public service issues
to public works. Another expenditure that raise concern was the the
purchase from Litefoot Technologies.
Litefoot Technologies set up provided hardware for the
Trenton City Hall to record both audio and video through out the
Commissioner Monda Wooten raised concerns over the non-stop
recording taking place within City Hall with no one knowing they are
being recorded, it even appears the other City Commissioners were also unaware.
When asked who had access to the recordings, Mayor Case said the
administrator Daniel Jones and himself did.
“if people are having meetings in here that are considered private, I
don’t think it’s right to record it,” said Commissioner Wooten. “I
don’t think that’s right”.
Commissioner Wooten was in disbelief they were recording without
telling anyone. She thought at the very least they should post
signage letting people know they were being recorded.
Mayor case responded by saying that the Trenton City Hall is a public government
building and that nothing is done in private.
“I have a problem with people not knowing,” said Commissioner Wooten.
“It’s our fault we didn’t stay involved with this,” said Commissioner
Wooten, adding she had a problem about not being alerted that it was
According to the right to privacy law in Georgia Ga. Code Ann. §
16-11-66(a);Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-62, that states an individual has
the right to record or disclose the contents of an electronic, oral or
wire communication that they are a party to or if one of the parties
has given prior consent to the recording of said communications.
It may appear the Law does not give a third party such as a City or a individual the right to legally record audio of someone without their knowledge, except during a public meeting.
“That’s an invasion,” said Commissioner Wooten. “A public meeting is
one thing, but a private meeting between two is an invasion”
It appears that a city employee and a citizen was recorded without there knowledge according to Wooten.
“I guess we can look into that,” said Mayor Case. “It’s a public
building for a pubic meeting,” he added. “We use it to look back at
it for the minutes”.
Mayor Case said the way it is now anybody could ask for information.
“It’s just the way it is,” said Mayor Case. “Even if you have a
meeting with an employee it can be accessible. I’m sorry it didn’t get
passed on to you.”
Other commissioners agreed there should be a sign alerting anyone that the area is being recorded.
In other news from the meeting Commissioner Terry Powell told fellow
commissioners the Civic center was now back open. He stated a meeting
has already been held there and everything turned out well. The
commissioner also announced a change in the prices to rent the center.
The new prices are $150 for a half a day and $200 for a whole day.
There would also be a $150 cleaning deposit and renters would be given
a list of what is expected of them when their event wraps up as far as
cleanup. Commissioner Powell also stated the pool would be ready to
open on May 29.
The Alliance for Dade announced that The Blessing Box was dedicated
to late commissioner Allan Bradford who passed away from COVID-19 back
in March. Inside, people can donate non-perishable food items,
diapers and hygiene products or can pick items up if they need them. It sits at the top Lookout Mountain off Highway
A Full recording of the Public meeting is available at our Facebook page KWN News Now