There was an excellent turnout last night in Payette, where more than 35 folks filled the historic Portia Club to learn about Idaho's open meetings and public records laws at the latest IDOG seminar - that's Idahoans for Openness in Government. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden was the featured speaker, along with Assistant Chief Deputy Brian Kane and myself as president of IDOG. Those attending ranged from local government officials to interested citizens to news reporters and editors. They participated in interactive skits to learn how to comply - and how not to comply - with the laws, received handouts including the Attorney General's manuals on both laws, and had the opportunity to have all their questions answered after detailed presentations from Kane on how the laws work.
Among the questions from the audience: Is this meeting tonight legal under the Open Meeting Law? The answer: Yes, and it's not a meeting under the law's definitions - which define a 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.”
More than 60 people attended a similar session in Boise last week; the next one is scheduled for Nampa on Jan. 9th, at 7 p.m. at Nampa City Hall; there's more info here and here.