Tag Archives: open records

Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma, left, and City Manager Tom Barry, right Photos via City of Minot

Fresh Off an Open Meeting Violation, Minot’s Mayor Is Trying to Be Sneaky About Major Changes to City Manager’s Contract

Fresh Off an Open Meeting Violation, Minot’s Mayor Is Trying to Be Sneaky About Major Changes to City Manager’s Contract

You readers are probably aware of the phenomena called a “Friday news dump.” For the uninitiated, it’s the tactic of waiting until late in the day on a Friday to make public things you don’t really want the public to notice. The idea being that by Friday evening, the people who would notice are in

Documents from a small-town records audit, conducted by the Grand Forks Herald, are displayed on a table. (Grand Forks Herald photo)

For Some of North Dakota’s Small Towns Not Even the Law Is an Open Record

North Dakota has some potent open records laws because of these two foundational requirements of government: Every record the government has is presumed open to the public unless specifically exempted by law. If a governing entity denies a request for records, they must justify the denial by citing the law exempting the records. Unfortunately, many

Attorney General: City Violated Open Meetings Law by Holding Council Meeting Out of Town

Often entities of North Dakota’s government, particularly local governments and committees and agencies, hold meetings far from their usual place of business. I’ve been critical of this practice in the past, such as when a board at North Dakota State University decided to hold an annual meeting in Minneapolis. How can a meeting of a

Former Fargo Park District executive director Joel Vettel

North Dakota’s Public Officials Should Be Required to Record Meetings Even When They’re Closed to the Public

Most of you reading this probably don’t live in Fargo, so you might not much care that the local park board there violated open meetings law, but if you’re a resident of North Dakota you should be paying attention because how this situation is being handled could very well be how some government entity in

Former Fargo parks director Joel Vettel

Attorney General: Fargo Park Board Broke the Law With Meeting at Which Former Director Joel Vettel Resigned

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has concluded that the Fargo Park Board broke open meeting law with too-vague agenda for a meeting at which former parks director Joel Vettel resigned. “The vague topic ‘HR/Staff review’ did not sufficiently describe the specific topic the commmission [sic] clearly knew it would be discussing at the special

Petitioners File photo

Organizer of Referendum Petition Campaigns Says They Don’t Have Enough Signatures Yet

A citizen-led organization calling themselves Audit the Swamp has begun gathering signatures to refer three pieces of legislation, passed by the Legislature earlier this year, to the statewide ballot. They want to block legislation appropriating money to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library project in Medora, excluding lawmaker emails to state agencies from open records requests,

Joel Vettel, former executive director of the Fargo Park District, stands in the Island Park gazebo June 15, 2017, near downtown Fargo. Forum file photo

These Fargo Elected Leaders Are Dodging Accountability and It Stinks

This post might seem like an intensely local issue, important only to people who live in Fargo, but as you read this remember the same tactic could be deployed by your local leaders. Around the 4th of July holiday Fargo Park District executive director Joel Vettel – a well-known face in the community after a

North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark R. Hagerott visits with the Editorial Board at the Grand Forks Herald. Jesse Trelstad/ Grand Forks Herald

Chancellor Hagerott’s Open Records Dodges Are Too Cute by Half

From what I’m hearing the interim President at the University of North Dakota, who will be taking over for departing President Mark Kennedy, is the school’s medical school dean Joshua Wynne. He’s one of the named finalists, and I’m also told he’s not interested in the gig long term. He told my colleague Sydney Mook

The Department of Transportation building in Bismarck

DOT Attempted to Obscure That Director Under Investigation Was on Paid Leave

Earlier this year Glenn Jackson, the former director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s drivers license division, was placed on leave pending an investigation into his conduct with female subordinates. He ultimately resigned this month (you can read the entire investigation report into his conduct here). What’s bizarre is how the DOT has handled

Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center, North Dakota State University.

Public Meetings Held Out of State Should Be Illegal

Back in 2012 I requested from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office an opinion on open meetings law as it applied to a supposedly public meeting of North Dakota State’s Technology and Research Park which was held in Minneapolis. How in the world can a meeting be open to North Dakotans if it is held hundreds

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