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20FC:0099

Date: 
03/18/2021
Subject: 
Julie Shook/City of Tama - Informal Resolution Final 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

                               Final Order

 

This matter comes before the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) on the 18th day of March, 2021, for final review of the informal resolution agreed upon by the parties.

 

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

  

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the complaint on November 19, 2020.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution.  The IPIB approved the informal resolution on January 21, 2021.

 

The terms of the informal resolution have been completed.  

 

Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB agreed to dismiss this complaint as resolved..

 

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this matter is dismissed as successfully resolved through informal resolution.

 

SO ORDERED this 18th day of March, 2021.

 

______________________________

IPIB Chair
 

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

    

This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of March, 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

                               Final Report

COMES NOW Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and submits the Informal Resolution Final Report from the IPIB Deputy Director, Brett Toresdahl (Exhibit A). 

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

  

The Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) accepted the complaint on November 19, 2020.  Pursuant to Iowa Code section 23.9, the parties negotiated and reached an informal resolution.  The IPIB approved the informal resolution on January 21, 2021.

 

The terms of the informal resolution have been completed, as outlined by the attached report from Brett Toresdahl.  

 

Upon showing proof of compliance, the IPIB agreed to dismiss this complaint as resolved.

 

It is recommended that the IPIB dismiss this complaint.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Margaret E. Johnson, J.D.

Executive Director
 

CERTIFICATE OF MAILING

    

This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of March, 2021, to:

Julie Shook

Daniel Rathjen, legal counsel for the City of Tama

 

 

EXIBIT A

Julie Shook, Complainant

And

City of Tama, Respondent

Case Number: 20FC:0099

Informal Resolution Final 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 approved the informal resolution on January 21, 2021.

Summary of the terms:

The Tama City Council acknowledged a violation of Iowa Code chapter 21.  It approved the informal resolution at its March 1, 2021, Council meeting and included the full text in its minutes.  The Mayor and City Clerk created a checklist for providing notice of meetings including developing a procedure for drafting detailed agendas. The checklist was approved by the Council at its meeting on February 15, 2021. A copy of this check list has been provided to the IPIB.  On February 15, 2021, the Council members, Mayor, and Clerk participated in training led by the Iowa League of Cities. The minutes of this meeting was provided to the IPIB.

The proof of compliance has been provided. Therefore, the IPIB should dismiss this complaint as successfully resolved.

By the IPIB Deputy Director

_________________________________

Brett J. Toresdahl

 

 

Printed from the website on April 17, 2021 at 12:56pm.