March 1, 2012

E-mailing among officials riles commissioner

E-mailing among officials riles commissioner
BHG News Service

Julie Hudson-Schenfisch was on a mission.
As a McLean County commissioner and a board member of the N.D. Association of Coal Conversion Counties, she repeated her message again and again: e-mailing among members was a violation of the open meetings law.
Hudson-Schenfisch said the issue had been a hot topic before the group for the past two months and first discussed a year and a half ago. She said fellow commissioner Ron Krebsbach stood up before the annual meeting in the fall of 2010 and questioned whether the bylaws of the organization should allow e-mails to be used as a tool of communication to constitute a meeting.  States Attorney Ladd Erickson had spoken to the group in 2010, too, Hudson-Schenfisch said.
She brought the issue to the McLean County Independent in late January. She said in an e-mail to the editor, “If county commissioners or school boards conversed this way we would all be in trouble. CCC uses taxpayer funds to meet, hence newspapers need to be informed of decisions and discussions. My guess (is) that none of the Mercer County papers ever hear about this. It is wrong … and yet it continues.”

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