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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yakima Open Meetings Violation?--Updated

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports on an executive session of the City of Yakima. The apparent topic of the executive session was finding out who leaked something to the newspaper. This doesn't seem to fit within the authorized grounds for an executive session.

UPDATE (9/20/07): The City says it only met in executive session to review the performance of the city manger, which is allowed under the Open Public Meetings Act. But how do we know?

Perhaps if the executive session were recorded, city council members would be deterred from straying from authorized closed-session topics (such as employee performance reviews) into unauthorized topics (such as who leaked a story to the newspaper). A recording of the executive session would also allow a judge to listen to the meeting (in private) and then determine if an OPMA violation occurred.

But wait: there's proposed legislation to do exactly this.