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City's stadium-search committee stunned by Sunshine Law demands

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  1. Freedom of Information
A group of local leaders tasked with finding a spot for a new stadium in St. Petersburg was apparently startled…

A group of local leaders tasked with finding a spot for a new stadium in St. Petersburg was apparently startled to learn this week that open government laws in Florida won’t let them pull blinds down over their work, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Since the coalition, mainly representing the private sector, was assigned by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, the group’s attorney explained during an initial meeting on Monday that the bulk of what it does must be open to public review.

That means e-mail, meetings – even between two of the members – and documents generated by the group must be available to the public under the state’s Sunshine laws, which The Times said prompted one member to ask, "Are you serious?" Another member, Chuck Sykes, reportedly worried that if negotiations with corporate supporters became public it might harm the progress of the project.

But the coalition ultimately agreed to make do under the guidelines.