AG: City of Williston Broke Open Meeting Law With Meetings About Man Camp Ban

A federal judge has enjoined the City of Williston from enforcing a controversial ordinance which would have banned temporary worker housing businesses from operating there starting July 1.

Part of the federal judge’s reasoning for issuing the injunction was his opinion that the city had likely violated their own ordinances requiring a super-majority vote to pass the ban.

Now the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office, responding to a complaint I filed, has found that the city violated state open meeting laws in the lead up to the passing of the ordinance.

Mayor Howard Klug convened a series of ad-hoc meetings about the ordinance where hotel owners and landlords and man camp operators were welcome but not the public. I filed a complaint last year, feeling the meetings were illegal.

The AG’s office found that a meeting which would have involved just one member of the commission and various city department heads would have been legal, when multiple members of the city commission got involved they constituted an open meeting.

Inbox – rob@sayanythingblog com

The AG has ordered the city to prepare minutes of the meetings and provide them to the public.

Here’s the full opinion:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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