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Will a campus safety meeting be open or closed?


Gov. Kate Brown might have a dilemma if she closes a meeting she plans to convene of the legislatively created Task Force on School Safety and her nonpublic work group on college campus safety.

The two entities plan to meet sometime in January, at the governor's request, to try to coordinate efforts. A date has yet to be scheduled, according to task force Chairman Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.

Meetings of the task force must be posted in advance and made public, while Brown's spokespeople has maintained there is no such requirement for her college campus safety work group.

The work group serves much of the same function as the task force with two exceptions: the group focuses on higher education institutions, rather than grades K-12, and the group, theoretically, reports to the governor.

Brown assembled the work group in November in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg. The 14-member task force came out of House Bill 4087 in 2014 to look at ways to improve school safety and security. The shootings at Clackamas Town Center and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 prompted the legislation.

Brown, who has committed to increasing transparency in the governor's office, has a number of work groups and advisory committees that meet shrouded from public view.

Brown's legal counsel has advised her that a group that will make recommendations to the governor, rather than a public body, is immune from public meetings law, according to Chris Pair, a press secretary in Brown's office.