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 December 29, 2020, Randy Evans filed formal complaint 20FC:0133, alleging that the BCLUW Community School Board of Directors (Board) violated Iowa Code chapter 21 on November 16, 2020.
At an open meeting on that date, the Board voted by paper ballot to select the new Board president. When the ballots were reviewed, it was announced that one Board member received 5 votes and another received two votes. There was no recitation of how each Board member voted.
On January 4, 2021, the school superintendent responded to the complaint. He noted that following this vote, he informed the Board members that this vote was not consistent with the requirements of Iowa Code section 21.3.
Iowa Code section 21.3 reads, in part: The minutes shall show the results of each vote taken and information sufficient to indicate the vote of each member present. The vote of each member present shall be made public at the open session.
Mr. Evans asked that the Board be required to acknowledge this mistake at an open meeting and that the Board receive training on the open meetings and public records laws. The superintendent has placed a review of this complaint and a discussion of open meetings and public records laws on the agenda for the Board meeting scheduled for January 18, 2021.
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. The allegation has merit and is legally sufficient. The Board does not dispute the allegation and is proceeding forward with the remediation requested by Mr. Evans.
Therefore, the complaint has been resolved through informal resolution as contemplated by Iowa Code section 23.9. The result of the vote was accurately announced and included in the minutes.
IT IS SO ORDERED: Formal complaint 20FC:0133 is dismissed as harmless error 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 January 21, 2021. 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, J.D.
1. The superintendent has included the PowerPoint training from the IPIB website in the Board packet distributed prior to the meeting.
CERTIFICATE OF MAILING
This document was sent by electronic mail on the ___ day of January, 2021, to:
BCLUM Community School Board of Directors