Preston Seminar

photo from Preston seminarView photos from our Preston seminar.

By Dean Miller
IDOG vice president

PRESTON – Hosted by Preston Citizen Publisher Kelly Mickelson and Editor Rod Boam, the Idahoans for Openness in Government roadshow drew a crowed of 50 to the spanking-new fire hall in downtown Preston on Oct. 2.

Citizens, reporters and Franklin and Oneida County officials got a primer on how to legally hold a roadside meeting about construction business, how to hold an executive session, and how to challenge the legality of a suspected improper meeting.

The role-playing skits continue to be popular, particularly those that feature the roles of the rude clerk and the rude citizen and the rude reporter.

This was the 13th IDOG roadshow on open records and open meetings. One more is coming up: Teton Valley sometime after the general election.

The bulk of the session was conducted by Deputy Attorney General Bill VonTagen, the reigning expert on Idaho’s open government laws. He fielded specific local questions on whether a county prosecuting attorney can legitimately handle complaints, since he typically functions as the county government’s attorney. VonTagen told the residents of southeastern Idaho that in most cases, county prosecutors refer such cases to a neighboring county’s prosecutor or to the Attorney General’s staff.

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden plays the part of the referee in the skits section of the program and provides commentary during Von Tagen’s Powerpoint presentation summarizing the most important sections of the code.

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