Friday, March 2, 2012

School board admits to law violation

Trustees undo vote on school start date, then pass measure anew


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Steve Guthrie

The Blaine County School District board of trustees has acknowledged a violation of the Idaho Open Meeting Law in a vote in February regarding a start date for the next three school years.

At a special meeting on Wednesday, board Chair Steve Guthrie described the problem as a "procedural error."

"There was no ill intent," he said. "It was merely an oversight."

The vote in question occurred at the board's regular monthly meeting on Feb. 21 when the board unanimously voted to not start school for the next three years until after Labor Day, such as has been the case for the past two years.

In a prepared statement, Guthrie said at Wednesday's meeting that the law violation was "due to the board having taken action and voting on an agenda item that specifically indicated that no action would be taken and by not amending the agenda to reflect that a vote would be taken."

At Guthrie's request, the board then voted unanimously to rescind the Feb. 21 vote.

However, the board then amended its agenda for the Wednesday meeting and unanimously voted to approve the same start date measure anew.

Guthrie said rescinding the Feb. 21 vote came at the suggestion of the School District attorney.

"We realized it after the error was made in February, so we contacted our attorney and he suggested that we take this action," he said.

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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