Hogle Zoo's executive committee voted unanimously Thursday to open their general board meetings to the public.

The committee, which includes two appointed officials from Salt Lake County government and two from the Legislature, made the decision in support of the Salt Lake County Council's request that all organizations that receive Zoo, Arts and Parks (ZAP) tax funds conduct open meetings.

"This decision supports the council's intent to ensure accountability for public funding of all ZAP organizations," said Zoo board president James Hogle Jr. "We want to maintain the public's trust."

"One of the most important functions of the two county officials and two state legislators on the board is to serve as liaisons between the zoo and the taxpaying public," said Hogle.

"Open meetings will further demonstrate our commitment to partnership with government and our community," he added.

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In addition to voluntary open meetings and government representation on the board, the zoo also provides full disclosure on the use of all tax funds through regular periodic public reports.

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