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Idaho Open Meeting Law

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Christi Hines-Coates

on 28 July 2015

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Transcript of Idaho Open Meeting Law


NNU 8670 Labor Relations Class
Dr. Paula Kellerer
Summer 2012

Idaho Open Meeting Law
“All meetings of a governing body of a public agency shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided by the act.”
Governing body is defined as any public agency making decisions in regards to any public matter.
Applies to governing bodies comprised of two (2) or more members.
Ie…school boards, city council, commissioner meetings,
Open Meeting Law
The Open Meeting Law defines “meeting” as
“the convening of a governing body of a public agency to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision on any matter.”
at any meeting at which a quorum is present.”
A quorum is when more than half of the members are present.
Any time the agency meets to exchange information or discuss information that may lead to a decision determined by a vote.
This does not refer to informal situations or impromptu discussions not related to topics that will require a decision to be determined by a vote.
What is a “meeting”?
Open Meeting Law must be complied with whenever a quorum of the members of the governing body of a public agency meets in order to decide or deliberate on matters which are within the ambit of official business. Those meetings can be formal, informal, or social. So long as a quorum is present and the intent is to deliberate or make a decision, then the meeting must be open.
Accusation of violation

Executive Session

To consider hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent.
To consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining or to hear complaints or charges brought against officer, employee staff.
Deliberation of labor negotiations

What can be discussed in Exec. Session
To consider records exempt from disclosure from chapter 3 , title 9.
To consider preliminary negotiations involving trade or commerce of governing body.
To communicate with legal counsel.
To engage in communication with representatives of public agency like risk manager or insurance provider.
What can be discussed in Exec. Session Part II
Labor negotiations may be conducted.

No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final action or making any final decision.
What can be discussed in Exec. Session Part III
Labor negotiations may be conducted.

No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final action or making any final decision.
What can be discussed in Exec. Session Part IV
Notice of meeting notice and agendas may be posted where the meeting will be held.

Notices do not need to be posted in the newspaper or advertised.
Requirements for meeting and agenda
Regular Meetings-No less than five (5) calendar day meeting notice and forty-eight (48) hour agenda notice.
Special Meetings- At least a 24 hour meeting and agenda notice unless its an emergency. (specifications for emergency) Pg. 27.
Executive Session: 24 hour meeting and agenda notice.
Agenda is required for each meeting along with a notice
If agenda is amended and there is less than 48 hours before meeting, you post the agenda and then there needs to be a motion to approve the agenda. The motion must be made out of good faith based on a reasonable cause.
Requirements for meeting and agenda

All members of the governing body present;

All motions, resolutions, orders, or ordinances proposed and their disposition;

The results of all votes, and upon the request of a member, the vote of each member, by name.
Written Minutes From an Open Meeting Must Include:
the governing body shall have fourteen (14) days to respond publicly

They will either acknowledge the open meeting violation and state an intent to cure the violation
or
state that the public agency has determined that no violation has occurred and that no cure is necessary.

***Failure to respond shall be treated as a denial of any violation for purposes of proceeding with any enforcement action.
When a complaint is filed and served:
Any member who participates in the meeting where there is a violation, is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $50.00

Any member who knowingly commits a violation, is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $500.00.

Any member who knowingly commits a violation, and has previously committed a violation within 12 months is subject to a civil penalty of no more than $500.00.
Penalties for Violations
Public Agencies of State Government:
Attorney General
Local Public Agency:
the prosecuting attorneys within their assigned jurisdiction

If the violation has been committed by members of the board of county commissioners
Or
If the county prosecutor is not qualified:
A Special Prosecutor is assigned
Who is the Enforcer?
Any person affected by the violation may commence a civil action to require compliance, not to bring a private action of a civil penalty to any member of a public agency.
A violation may be cured when:

The agency admits that a violation occurred
Or
When the agency receives written notice of the alleged violation.
Curing a Violation
sections 67-2342 through 67-2346
When the agency acknowledges that a violation occurred, they will have 14 days to cure the violation.
This is done by declaring that all actions taken at or resulting from the meeting where the violation occurred are void.
During the response and cure period, the actions taken or resulting from the meeting stay in affect.
When a cure is provided, no civil penalty will be imposed.
Curing the Violation Part 2
“Decision” is then defined to include “any determination, action, vote or final disposition upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order, ordinance or measure on which a vote of a governing body is required, at any meeting at which a quorum is present.”
Decision
“deliberation” is defined as “the receipt or exchange of information or opinion relating to a decision, but shall not include informal or impromptu discussions of a general nature which do not specifically relate to a matter then pending before the public agency for decision.”
Even the receipt of information relating to a “decision”—i.e., a measure on which the governing body will have to vote— amounts to deliberation, and therefore triggers the definition and requirements of a “meeting” under the Open Meeting Law.
Deliberation

“regular meeting” means the convening of a governing body of a public agency on the date fixed by law or rule, to conduct the business of the agency.
Regular Meeting
“special meeting” is a convening of the governing body of a public agency pursuant to a special call for the conduct of business as specified in the call.
Special Meeting
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