The Iowa Public Information Board
In re the Matter of:
Jordan Wright, Complainant
City of Richland, Respondent
Case Numbers 20FC:0048
This matter comes before the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) this 17th day of September, 2020, to consider Acceptance of an Informal Resolution.
On May 13, 2020, Jordan Wright filed formal complaint 20FC:0048, alleging that the Richland City Council (Council) violated Iowa Code chapter 21.
The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the complaint on June 18, 2020. Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution.
The terms of the informal resolution are to be completed within 90 days of acceptance by all parties. Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB shall dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
The IPIB has reviewed the informal resolution and approves it pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.4 (3). The chair shall sign the informal resolution on behalf of the IPIB.
The IPIB will review compliance after December 7, 2020. If the terms of the Informal Resolution have been completed, the IPIB will dismiss the complaint.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
A copy of this document was sent via email on the ____ day of September, 2020, to:
Phil Parsons, City Attorney for Richland
Before the Iowa Public Information Board
In re the Matter of:
Jordan Wright, Petitioner
Richland City Council, Respondent
Case Number: 20FC:0048
Informal Resolution Report
COMES NOW, Zachary S. Goodrich, Legal Counsel for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and submits the following report recommending approval of an informal resolution.
On May 13, 2020, Jordan Wright filed formal complaint 20FC:0048 alleging that members of the Richland City Council (Council) violated Iowa Code Chapter 21.
Petitioner alleged that at the May 4, 2020 City Council meeting, it was disclosed that a majority of Council members met outside a properly-noticed, open, and public meeting to discuss work on city equipment involving an expenditure of over $2,500.00.
At the June 1, 2020 Council meeting, the Council concluded that the complaint may be valid. They also indicated they are willing to take training to educate themselves on open meetings laws.
On June 18, 2020, the IPIB voted to accept the complaint pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.8(1) and Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.1(2)(a). The Parties have been directed to work with IPIB staff to reach an informal resolution as required by Iowa Code section 23.9.
The parties agreed to the following terms:
- The City acknowledges that the complaint may be valid.
- The City acknowledges that meetings between Council members discussing official city business must be held pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 21 in a properly noticed, open session.
- The City agrees to conduct training for all Council members and other city officials on Iowa Code Chapters 21 and 22. The City may utilize the PowerPoint training available on the IPIB website or schedule training with the city attorney or through the League of Cities.
- The City shall approve this resolution during an open meeting and include the full text in the minutes of said meeting. Said minutes shall then be provided to the IPIB.
The terms of this informal resolution will be completed within 90 days of acceptance by all parties. Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB shall dismiss the complaint as successfully resolved.
Respondent approved the informal resolution on September 8, 2020. Petitioner approved the informal resolution on July 22, 2020.
It is recommended that the IPIB approve the informal resolution, direct the Chair to sign the resolution on behalf of the IPIB, and continue this matter until the terms of the resolution have been completed.
Respectfully submitted this ____ day of September, 2020.
Zachary S. Goodrich
Iowa Public Information Board
Wallace Building, Third Floor
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of September, 2020, to:
Phil Parsons, Richland City Attorney
 Petitioner questioned whether it was proper for the city to hire a council member for this work. This issue is not within the jurisdiction of the IPIB.
 Information regarding the Council’s statements on June 1, 2020 was provided by LaNelle Kopsieker who has subsequently filed a separate complaint against the Council.