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At a special meeting Monday morning, the Pocatello City Council found that deliberations and a decision in a closed meeting by the Fact Finding Panel during the negotiations of the IAFF Local 187 Collective Bargaining Agreement violated the State of Idaho’s Open Meeting Law.
The Council passed a resolution that declares the panel decision “null and void” because of the violation and also directs City staff to return to the negotiation process related to the decision. Pursuant to Idaho Code, the City is now said to have “cured” the violation by self-recognizing the violation, acknowledging it, and “declaring that all actions taken at or resulting from the meeting in violation of this act void.”
“The City has fulfilled its obligations under the Open Meeting Act to investigate and cure a potential violation of the law,” said Logan McDougall, Public Information Officer. “We understand the frustration of some with the resolution, but the City has a duty to ensure that City meetings are held in accordance with Idaho Code and correct violations regardless of the outcome of a meeting.”
The violation was brought to the attention of City officials by the City’s negotiator who was preparing ahead of negotiations for fiscal year 2017.