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20FC:0059

Date: 
08/20/2020
Subject: 
Jamie Simpson/Essex City Council - Informal Resolution Report/Order
Opinion: 

 The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Jaime Simpson, Complainant

And Concerning:

Essex City Council,  Respondent

 

                      Case Number: 20FC:0059

 

                     Informal Resolution Order

 

This matter comes before the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) this 20th day of August, 2020, to consider Acceptance of an Informal Resolution

On June 11, 2020, Jaime Simpson filed formal complaint 20FC:0059, alleging that the Essex City Council violated Iowa Code chapter 21.

 

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the complaint on July 16, 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 60 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 October 19, 2020.  If the terms of the Informal Resolution have been completed, the IPIB will dismiss the complaint.

 

_______________________________

IPIB Chair

 

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

    

This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of August, 2020, to:

 

Jaime Simpson

Essex City Council

 

 

 

Before The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Jaime Simpson, Complainant

And Concerning:

Essex City Council,  Respondent

 

                      Case Number: 20FC:0059

 

                     Informal Resolution Report

 

On June 11, 2020, Jaime Simpson filed formal complaint 20FC:0059, alleging that the Essex City Council violated Iowa Code chapter 21.


The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the complaint on July 16, 2020.   Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution as outlined by the attached report from Brett Toresdahl.

 
The terms of the informal resolution are to be completed within 60 days of acceptance by all parties.  Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB shall dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved.

 

It is recommended that the IPIB approve the proposed informal resolution and set the matter for compliance review in accordance with the terms of the informal resolution.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.

Executive Director
 

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

    

This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of August, 2020, to:


Jaime Simpson
Essex City Council

 

Jaime Simpson, Complainant

And

Essex City Council, Respondent
Case Number: 20FC:0059

On June 11, 2020, Jaime Simpson filed formal complaint 20FC:0059, alleging that the Essex City Council (Council) violated Iowa Code chapter 21 at a meeting on June 10, 2020.  She stated that the Council held an electronic meeting without providing public access to the meeting.

The Council held the June 10, 2020, meeting utilizing the online application “Zoom”.  The Council did not allow some members of the public access to the meeting until the agenda item each had expressed interest in came up on the agenda.  Ms. Simpson was not given access to the electronic meeting and was unable to hear deliberations or votes prior to being “invited” into the meeting. 

Iowa Code section 21.3 states that meetings shall be conducted in open session:

Meetings of governmental bodies shall be preceded by public notice as provided in section 21.4 and shall be held in open session unless closed sessions are expressly permitted by law. Except as provided in section 21.5, all actions and discussions at meetings of governmental bodies, whether formal or informal, shall be conducted and executed in open session.

Governor Kim Reynolds, by proclamation, has temporarily modified Chapter 21 to allow for electronic meetings pursuant to Iowa Code section 21.8 “provided that the governmental body provides a means for the public to participate by telephone or electronically as provided in this section.”

If a governmental body is using an online application for video and audio access to an open meeting, the governmental body must allow public access to the entire meeting.

The Council did not follow the requirements of Iowa Code chapter 21 when holding the June 10, 2020, meeting.

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the formal complaint on July 16, 2020, as to the violation of Iowa Code section 21 and specifically 21.8, violation of the requirements for holding an electronic meeting.  

Pursuant to Iowa Code 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution.

The parties agree to the following terms:

  1. The Council will acknowledge that the described actions occurred.
  2. The Council will acknowledge that the requirements for holding an electronic meeting on June 10, 2020, were not properly conducted by not allowing public access to the entire meeting.
  3. The Council shall conduct training for all Council members and city officials on Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22 (Sunshine Laws).  The Council may utilize the powerpoint training available on the IPIB website. The City shall work with the city attorney and retain the assistance of the Iowa League of Cities to provide the training to the Council and staff.
  4. The Council shall approve this resolution during an open meeting and include the full text in the minutes of said meeting.  Said minutes shall be provided to the IPIB.

The terms of this informal resolution will be completed within 60 days of acceptance by all parties.  Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB shall dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved.

The City Council approved the informal resolution at a meeting on August 12, 2020.

Ms. Simpson approved the informal resolution on July 31, 2020.

The IPIB Deputy Director recommends that the IPIB approve the informal resolution and authorize the IPIB Chair to sign the informal resolution on behalf of the IPIB.

By the IPIB Deputy Director

_________________________________
Brett J. Toresdahl

Documents: 

Printed from the website on September 24, 2020 at 2:04am.