The Iowa Public Information Board
COMES NOW, Margaret E. Johnson, Executive Director for the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB), and enters this Dismissal Order:
On October 3, 2020, Eric Henely filed formal complaint 20FC:0102, alleging that the Gilbert Community School Board (Board) violated Iowa Code chapter 21.
Mr. Henely alleged that on October 2, 2020, he was unable to access a Board meeting scheduled for 3:15 p.m. via the YouTube link provided by the Board. He was unable to access the meeting until sometime between three and ten minutes after it was scheduled to start. He stated that the Board was already considering agenda item number three when he joined the meeting.
Legal counsel for the Board responded to the complaint on October 8, 2020. She indicated that a review of the YouTube recording of the meeting shows that Iowa Code chapter 21, as modified by the Governor’s Proclamation concerning open meetings, was not violated. Links were provided to the YouTube videos.
It was apparent from review of the videos that the Board took immediate action to pause the meeting when notified that someone was unable to access the meeting. The meeting was originally called to order at 3:20 p.m. A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. The meeting was then paused to address the access issue.
There are about four minutes of recording of participants in attendance awaiting the resumption of the meeting. No deliberation or votes occur during this time. The meeting resumes at 3:25 p.m. There is no evidence of a violation of Iowa Code chapter 21.
Iowa Code section 23.8 requires that a complaint be within the IPIB’s jurisdiction, appear legally sufficient, and have merit before the IPIB accepts a complaint. This complaint does not meet those requirements.
IT IS SO ORDERED: Formal complaint 20FC:0102 is dismissed as legally insufficient and without merit 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 November 19, 2020. 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
1. On September 17, 2020, the IPIB accepted formal complaint 20FC:0081. On August 20, 2020, the IPIB accepted formal complaint 20FC:0070. Both complaints involve Eric Henely and the Gilbert Community School District or Board and access to Board meetings. Parties are currently negotiating the terms of an informal resolution.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of November, 2020, to:
Gilbert Community School Board