More than 100 attend Twin Falls seminar

More than 100 attend Twin Falls seminar

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – There were county commissioners, newspaper reporters, interested citizens, school district employees, deputy assessors, library workers, a court administrator, city clerks, and planning and zoning commissioners.

There were TV reporters, mayors, cemetery district employees, state legislators, highway district clerks and lots more. And when they all gathered in Twin Falls for three hours on the evening of Oct. 29, 2008, they all learned a lot – about Idaho’s open meeting law, the state’s public records law, what they require, and how to comply and make sure these laws are working in their communities.

Attendance was huge for the session at the Herrett Center for Arts and Sciences, on the campus of the College of Southern Idaho – more than 100 people filled the hall, to hear Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Deputy Attorney General Bill von Tagen, leading journalists and more – and to participate in the session themselves, acting out parts in skits that helped show what everyone should – and shouldn’t – do under Idaho’s open government laws.

In evaluations of the session, a highway commissioner in the audience gave the evening top ratings. “Very informative about open meetings,” he wrote appreciatively.

Citizen Ed Ditlefsen wrote, “Overall, it was an EXCELLENT seminar. Thank you for presenting it.” He added, “I don’t currently plan on making a public records request, but I feel much more comfortable with the process and what is and isn’t supported.”

One county commissioner wrote that he’d learned something new he can put to use: That drafts are public record. A mayor praised the chance to “brush up on executive session procedure.” Wrote another elected official, “Our county meetings need a lot of work!”

Wrote a reporter who attended, “It is worth everyone’s time to learn this.”

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