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20FC:0099

Date: 
01/21/2021
Subject: 
Julie Shook/City of Tama - Informal Resolution Report & Order
Opinion: 

The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Julie Shook, Complainant

And Concerning:

City of Tama, Respondent

 

                      Case Number: 20FC:0099

                                  

                     Informal Resolution Order

              

This matter comes before the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) this 21st day of January, 2021, to consider the Acceptance of an Informal Resolution.

The IPIB accepted the complaint against the City of Tama on November 19, 2020.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached a proposed Informal Resolution.

The Board has reviewed the informal resolution and approves it pursuant to Iowa Administrative Rule 497-2.4(3).  The IPIB chair is directed to sign the Informal Resolution on behalf of the IPIB.

The parties have 90 days to complete the proposed terms from today’s date.  If the terms of the Informal Resolution are completed, the IPIB will dismiss the complaint.

 

_______________________________

IPIB Chair

 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

 

This document was sent by electronic mail on the _________ day of ___________, 2021, to:

 

Julie Shook

Daniel Rathjen, legal counsel for the City of Tama

 

 

Before The Iowa Public Information Board

In re the Matter of:

Julie Shook, Complainant

And Concerning:

City of Tama, Respondent

 

                      Case Number: 20FC:0099

                                  

                     Informal Resolution Report

              

COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and respectfully submits this Informal Resolution Report:

On September 29, 2020, Julie Shook filed formal complaint 20FC:0099, alleging that the City of Tama violated Iowa Code chapter 21.

 

The IPIB accepted the complaint on November 19, 2020, and directed IPIB staff to assist the parties in adopting an informal resolution.  The parties have approved an informal resolution as described in the attached report by Brett Toresdahl, IPIB deputy director.

 

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 recommended that the IPIB approve the proposed informal resolution, direct the IPIB chair to sign the 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 SERVICE

 

This document was sent by electronic mail on the _________ day of ___________, 2020, to:

 

Julie Shook

Daniel Rathjen, legal counsel for the City of Tama

 

 

 

 

Julie Shook, Complainant

And

City of Tama, Respondent

Case Number: 20FC:0099

Informal Resolution Report

On September 29, 2020, Julie Shook filed formal complaint 20FC:0099, alleging that the City of Tama (City) violated Iowa Code chapter 21. 

At a city council meeting on September 21, 2020, the city council voted to move $50,000 in funding from the city library budget to fund two new part-time ambulance positions.  The agenda item listed for this action read “Ambulance open position.”  There was no indication on the agenda that the council would be reconsidering the library budget.

Legal counsel for the City responded to the complaint.  He argued that the agenda item encompassed all decisions resulting from consideration of the open position for ambulance personnel, including the funding for the position.  He stated that the library budget was the appropriate place to find this funding.  He added that although a vote was taken by the council to remove the funding from the library budget, final budget approval would not occur until later in the budgetary process.

 The City attorney also indicated that the City “will undertake to be more specific and detailed with respect to future agendas.”

Iowa Code section 21.4(1)(a) states that an agenda should be drafted “in a manner reasonably calculated to apprise the public….”  This agenda item did not mention funding of the ambulance positions or review of other City departments to transfer funding for the positions.  It did not meet the requirements of section 21.4(1)(a).

The agenda for the September 21, 2020, Council meeting was insufficient and did not provide adequate notice.  

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the formal complaint on November 19, 2020, as to the violation of Iowa Code section 21 and specifically 21.4(1)(a), violation of the requirements to provide adequate notice.  

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 during an open meeting that the requirements for posting an agenda that provides adequate notice was not met, and this acknowledgement be recorded in the minutes of said meeting.
  2. The Mayor and City Clerk shall create a checklist for providing notice for meetings including developing a procedure for drafting detailed agendas.
  3. The Council shall conduct training during an open meeting for all council members and city clerk on Iowa Code chapters 21 and 22 (Sunshine Laws).  The Council may utilize the powerpoint training available on the IPIB website. The Council shall work with the city attorney or the Iowa League of Cities to provide the training to the council and clerk.
  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 90 days of acceptance by all parties.  Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB shall dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved.

The Mayor of the city of Tama, Doug Ray approved the informal resolution on December 8, 2020.

Ms. Shook approved the informal resolution on December 15, 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

 

Printed from the website on May 18, 2021 at 12:57pm.