Record Turnout at IDOG Seminar in Salmon

By Dean Miller

photo of a presenter at Salmon seminarView photos.

The Salmon Recorder Herald has set the bar one notch higher for those who host IDOG�s open government workshops � the May 19 session in Salmon was the best-attended session yet, with around 90 people on hand.

The Recorder Herald’s Shiela Johnson got on local radio, published notices in the Recorder Herald, and made personal phone calls to dozens of locals, helping boost the turnout. This wasn�t surprising in view of the Recorder Herald�s motto:

�Free Press � Open Government � Free People�

Audience members also were recruited for the skits. That proved entertaining, and it engaged the audience right off the bat.

If you haven�t seen it yet, the IDOG seminar mixes skits (short bits about common open government struggles, refereed by the Attorney General) with a meaty PowerPoint presentation by deputy AG Bill Von Tagen, one of Idaho�s leading experts on our open meetings and public records laws. Post Register editor Dean Miller drafted the skits and serves as moderator.

Evaluation forms filled out by attendees have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the format.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and his staff drove four hours from Boise to lead the show in Salmon. He plays the role of referee in each skit, jumping in to note fouls and to encourage sportsmanlike conduct.

The script has been revised by Bob Cooper, Wasden�s press officer, to make it even more punchy and fast-moving.

Another thing the Recorder Herald taught us: Future hosts and co-sponsors may want to consider pushing local judges to attend. Magistrate Jerry Meyers� presence in the back of the room was not lost on local officials. It has to help the cause of government openness that these officials now know that he knows they have heard the rules clearly explained.

The timing could hardly have been better. Salmon news has been dominated recently by reports of Sheriff Sam Slavin�s DUI arrest in Boise. Slavin, it turns out, was disciplined several years ago for a similar offense, but he has so far refused to release records pertaining to his alleged arrival at an accident scene, intoxicated, in a county car.

Seminar Photo Gallery

Not an IDOG member yet?