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Open meeting law violation avoided

Boulder City’s Utility Advisory Committee did not correct an alleged open meeting law violation last week because the members wanted the action to remain null and void.

At the Dec. 4 meeting, City Attorney Steve Morris said members of the committee departed from the published agenda for the Nov. 6 meeting when they selected a subcommittee to report to the City Council about utility fund findings. That action potentially violated the open meeting law, which automatically voided the action.

“So tonight would be to determine what corrective action, if any, would the committee be taking,” Morris said. “If the desire is to create a subcommittee, it would need to come forward in another agenda and then be properly discussed, and then action can be taken.”

Committee vice-chairman George Rhee said he had talked to the attorney general’s office about the matter and was told it would be better if the reports to the council were written and that a subcommittee would have to deliberate in public.

Rhee said the “root cause” of these types of problems are because he was having a difficult time getting items on the agendas.

Morris suggested the committee chair, Larry Karr, work with staff directly to ensure the correct information is included on them.

“Can the vice chair be included in that?” Karr asked.

Morris said it wouldn’t be a problem as long as there is not a quorum.

Karr said they would work with that model going forward.

Morris said the members had two options: They could correct the alleged violation by putting the topic of a subcommittee on a future agenda or if they were OK with Rhee’s idea, no action was required.

“My recommendation is that we not have a subcommittee. … I don’t believe we need one,” said Karr, noting it would need to have published agendas and minutes.

“We’re trying to do something in a timely manner,” he added.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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