When a locked door has kept you out of what should have been an open, public meeting, it might be a little late to point out to organizers that they broke laws pertaining to open meetings.
When your requests for information from a city or state agency keep getting turned down for reasons you don’t buy or understand, that would be a great time to quote public records law to the gatekeepers of the data you need.
So where can you acquire or brush up on such skills?
Next month — Wednesday, Oct. 7, and Tuesday, Oct. 20 — the Treasure Valley is the place to be if you want to learn the ropes and the rules of open meeting/public records laws from people who know it inside-out.
One of the instructors is Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who has been a champion over the years when it comes to educating government agency employees, public officials, the media and the public about their rights and responsibilities regarding public records and open meetings. The workshops are sponsored by IDOG — Idahoans for Openness in Government — and led by Wasden, Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane and IDOG President Betsy Russell, of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane.
The three-hour workshops are free, but organizers would like those hoping to attend to RSVP. Here are the details and appropriate contacts:
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 — NAMPA Co-sponsored by the Idaho Press-Tribune and the city of Nampa.; Nampa City Hall, Council Chambers, 411 3rd St. South, 6-9:30 p.m. RSVP to Scott McIntosh, firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-465-8110.
TUESDAY, Oct. 20 — BOISE Co-sponsored by the Idaho Statesman and Boise State Public Radio; BSU Radio building, 220 E. ParkCenter Blvd., 6-9:30 p.m. RSVP to Bill Dentzer, email@example.com or 208-377-6438.
Robert Ehlert is the Statesman’s editorial page editor. Reach him at 377-6437 or follow @IDS_HelloIdaho.