Second IDOG Seminar Hosted in McCall

By Tom Grote, Editor and Publisher The Star-News

Part of the audience of 60 persons representing 25 government agencies listens during the Nov. 12 IDOG meeting in McCall.View photos.

About 60 people attend the second Idahoans for Openness in Government seminar on open meetings and public records held on Nov. 12 at The Holiday Inn Express – The Hunt Lodge in McCall.

The crowd included representatives from more than two dozen government agencies, boards and commissioners, plus a dozen elected officials and members of the general public.

Deputy Idaho Attorney General Bill von Tagen discusses the nuts and bolts of Idaho's open meeting and open records laws while Attorney General Lawrence Wasden listens during the Nov. 12 IDOG seminar in McCall.Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden led the session and gave a strong endorsement to the concept of open meetings and public records. His statements were backed up by Deputy Attorney General Bill von Tagen, who gave a PowerPoint presentation on both the Idaho Open Meetings Law and the Idaho Public Records Law.

For emphasis, role-playing was done between Bob Cooper, communications director for the attorney general’s office, and Idaho Falls Post-Register Editor Dean Miller. The two, with assistance from volunteers in the audience, acted out hypothetical situations between
reporters, clerks and public officials. Whenever a violation would occur, Wasden would call “Time Out!” and explain the violation. Those attending asked a wide range of practical questions and several stayed after the meeting to ask more questions one-on-one of the participants.

Idaho Falls Post Register Editor Dean Miller, left, and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden listen to Bill Weida, a director of the Payette Lakes Recreational Water and Sewer District, during a break in the IDOG open government seminar held Nov. 12 in McCall. The room and refreshments were sponsored by The Star-News of McCall. The Star-News Publisher Tom Grote, who is also an IDOG board member, was in charge of invitations and provided free public service announcements in his newspaper.

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