Statement before the Glenn A. Walsh
Allegheny County P.O. Box
Library Association: Pittsburgh,
Sunshine Act Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc
2008 May 19
Good evening. I am Glenn A. Walsh of 633 Royce Avenue, Mt. Lebanon.
Today I am speaking as a private citizen representing no organization.
At last month’s meeting of the ACLA Board of
Directors, the agenda recorded that the following items would be discussed in
Executive Session: “Compliance issues/open records stipulations,” “Knowledge
Connections,” and “Mission/Vision/Goals – ‘Measures of Success.”’ When the time
for the Executive Session was announced, I called a Point-of-Order requesting
an explanation of how any of the three agenda items legally qualify for an Executive
The only explanation I was given is that the Allegheny County
Library Association (ACLA) is not legally required to comply with the Pennsylvania Sunshine
Act. In fact, the ACLA legal counsel stated that ACLA would not comply with the
Sunshine Act, without the judgment by a court-of-law!
Amazingly, there seems to be a dispute as to whether
ACLA fits the definition of “Agency” in the Sunshine Act, despite the fact
that, several years ago, ACLA received the State designation of “Federated Library
System,” by the Department of Education, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania!
Title 22, Section 141.21, No. 2, Item i, Line C of the
Code states: “The library shall be an integral part of general local
government.” This means that all libraries which accept State funding are
considered agents of the local unit of government and must, therefore, comply
with all State statutes that apply to local units of government, including the
Sunshine Act and the Right-to-Know Law. This has long been acknowledged by
Commonwealth Libraries and is stated in their Trustees Manual issued to library
trustees throughout the state.
The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) is a
special purpose area-wide unit of local government, which, by their funding,
has accepted ACLA as their agent for library service in a large portion of Allegheny County. If one library accepting State
funds is considered an agent of local government, then certainly a
State-designated Federated Library System which accepts State funds must also
be considered an agent of local government!
Basically, our law is based on the theory of voluntary
compliance, following constitutional enactment of law. It is the height of
arrogance for any organization to refuse to comply with any law, without a court
It is obvious to anyone who reads Pennsylvania
law that the Allegheny
Association is a legal “agency” required to comply with the Sunshine Act and
the Right-to-Know Law. I ask that the ACLA Board of Directors end this charade
of considering ACLA solely a private association and accept your legal
responsibilities under Title 22, Section 141.21 of the Pennsylvania Code.