March 30, 2016

AG: Committee violated open meetings law


The North Dakota Attorney General’s office issued an opinion last week on a possible violation, and found that a committee of the Washburn City Commission violated state Open Meetings law.

An opinion was formally issued by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on March 23, stating that the Waste Collection Committee broke the law by not advertising or having an agenda for and/or not taking formal minutes at three meetings in October.

Former President of the Commission Duane Bauer requested the opinion from the Attorney General after the meetings were held, stating he believed the City Commission may be in violation of Open Meetings laws.

Though the City Commission did not have a quorum of members at the meetings, meaning it would not need to follow the laws for open meetings, the full Waste Collection Committee was present. At a special commission meeting on August 31, 2015, the commission designated the task of reviewing garbage contract proposals to two commissioners, Larry Thomas and Kit Baumann, then forming a committee.

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