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Eye On Boise

Wed., Nov. 20, 2013, 8:53 a.m.

Open government group objects to closed Twin Falls meetings

Idahoans for Openness in Government filed a complaint against the city of Twin Falls Tuesday, asking county Prosecutor Grant Loebs to look into the City Council’s practice of delegating city business to subcommittees that meet secretly, flouting the Idaho Open Meeting Law. The council voted 4-2 on Nov. 12 to continue the practice, after the mayor said the city would have to hire another city employee to take minutes for the 14 subcommittees.

The Twin Falls Times-News has an article here on the complaint and dispute; Loebs told the newspaper he’ll investigate. “I’ll take it seriously,” he said. Full disclosure here: I filed the complaint as the president of IDOG, which last month held a seminar on Idaho's open meeting and public records law in Twin Falls that was attended by more than 100 people. The Idaho Open Meeting Law applies to subagencies of governing bodies if they have “the authority to make decisions or recommendations to a public agency regarding any matter.”

Mayor Greg Lanting said in an email Tuesday that the city now plans to open many, though not all, of its subcommittees; Loebs said he hopes to have more information about what the city’s been doing by the first week of December.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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