Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Complaints on closed session resolved

Aug 25, 2014
Photo by: David Hotle Margaret Johnson, deputy director of the Iowa Public Information Board, conducted a session on Iowa's open meetings and open records laws with the Washington Conservation Board on Aug. 12.

Two complaints filed with the Iowa Public Information Board (IPIB) have been successfully resolved.

The complaints from Dan Ehl of Kalona and Bruce Endris of Hills concerned closed sessions held by the Washington County Conservation Board (WCCB.

Margaret Johnson, IPIB deputy director, traveled from Des Moines to Ainsworth, on Aug. 12, to meet with the (WCCB) and go over Iowa's open records and open meetings laws, at the Conservation Education Center.

"I was impressed by how open they were in talking to me," Johnson said during a phone interview Friday, Aug. 22.

Johnson also said there were three attorneys from the Cedar Rapids area at the meeting. She handed out 100 copies of the "Iowa Open Meetings, Open Records Handbook" from the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.

The IPIB is a state board that answers questions about open meetings and open records laws, and to receive complaints if people think the laws might have been violated.

Johnson said that 25 to 30 percent of the people who contract them are from the media, about 40 percent from individuals, and the rest are local government officials who want to make sure they are doing the right thing.

For more information, go to www.ipib.iowa.gov.

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