A new citizens' watchdog group planned to file a formal complaint today with the state's public access counselor alleging Republican City Council members have violated the state's “open-door” law.
Council President Tom Didier, R-3rd District, told The News-Sentinel earlier this month the GOP met in caucus to decide which council members would be appointed to various city boards and commissions and who would be elected council president.
On Wednesday, Didier maintained the caucus was legal. He said it lasted about 30 minutes and consisted of him asking the attendees whether they had any interest in serving on such bodies as the Plan Commission. He said the caucus has been “blown out of proportion.”
“I would stand in front of a judge and put my hand on a Bible and say it: ‘We didn't do anything wrong.'”
Councilman Didier's opinion about whether or not he did anything wrong is immaterial if they did in fact violate the law. It's also quite telling that even in retrospect he doesn't see anything wrong with their actions. Deciding council business behind close doors only to have a rubber-stamped public meeting is wrong - both legally and ethically. Citizens in the information age demand open and transparent government and these types of private meetings don't live up to those demands.