The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 in favor of Matthew Cardinale, editor of Atlanta Progressive News, in his suit against the Atlanta City Council.
We hold that in view of the General Assembly’s intent, the correct reading of OCGA § 50-14-1 (e) (2), and the one that is most natural and reasonable, is that, having first mandated that meeting minutes include a “record of all votes,” the subsection then sets forth alternative requirements for accurately recording individuals’ votes in the case of both roll-call and non-roll-call votes. In the case of a non-roll-call vote, the minutes must list the names of those voting against a proposal or abstaining. If no such names are listed, the public may correctly presume that the vote was unanimous. If such names are listed, a member of the public need only look at the list of voting officials in attendance at the meeting to determine who voted for a proposal.