Ida Weibel/Long Grove City Council - Dismissal Order
The Iowa Public Information Board
In re the Matter of:
Ida Weibel, Complainant
Long Grove City Council, Respondent
Case Number: 17FC:0092
COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order.
Ida Weibel filed formal complaint 17FC:0092 on December 18, 2017, alleging that the Long Grove City Council (Council) violated Iowa Code chapter 21 by holding an improper meeting without providing notice and without an open session. She alleged that two members of the six-member city council must have discussed changing the official city publication prior to the issue appearing for the first time on the agenda for the December 12, 2017, council meeting, as they seemed to know about the issue prior to the meeting discussion.
A quorum for a Council meeting is four members. There is no evidence of a quorum gathering to discuss Council matters. Iowa Code section 21.2(2) defines a meeting as:
“... a gathering in person or by electronic means, formal or informal, of a majority of the members of a governmental body where there is deliberation or action upon any matter within the scope of the governmental body’s policy-making duties. Meetings shall not include a gathering of members of a governmental body for purely ministerial or social purposes when there is no discussion of policy or no intent to avoid the purposes of this chapter.”
Ms. Weibel requested that the IPIB warn the Council that they must follow the open meeting requirements of Iowa Code chapter 21. The city attorney responded that he has and will continue to remind the Council of its responsibility to hold open meetings.
Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and could have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint. This complaint is not legally sufficient.
IT IS SO ORDERED: Formal complaint 17FC:0092 is dismissed as legally insufficient pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(2) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(b).
Pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(3), the IPIB may “delegate acceptance or dismissal of a complaint to the executive director, subject to review by the board.” The IPIB will review this Order on February 15, 2018. Pursuant to IPIB rule 497-2.1(4), the parties will be notified in writing of its decision.
By the IPIB Executive Director
Margaret E. Johnson
Dated this ____ day of _________, 2018.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ____ day of February 2018, to:
Brent Hinders, city attorney