Woodbury County Supervisors Under Scrutiny for Perceived Secret Meetings
SIOUX CITY, IA — There's been no shortage of criticism leveled recently for some of the decision made by the Woodbury County Supervisors. But this time it comes over a somewhat unusual subject, lunch. A new security plan for the courthouse, a lack of nurses at the jail. They're just a couple of the touchy issues the board has dealt with recently. But this time the criticism stems from a majority of the five board members having lunches at the Milwaukee Wiener House, a possible violation of the state's open meetings law.Angry complaints, it's something the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors have gotten used to. "You know, I can understand the concern, but there's no intention of the board ever having any secret meetings,"said Woodbury County Supervisor, George Boykin. "A lack of transparency and a potentially broken law, that's exactly what the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors were accused of earlier today," said Joe Bisaccia of Siouxland News. KSCJ Radio's and Greater Siouxland Press Club President Woody Gottberg addressed the board over a complaint.Several KSCJ listeners saw members of the board eating lunch at the Milwaukee Wiener House last week, doing so without explicitly informing the public.This led some to question the legality of the *secret lunch* meetings, but Boykin maintained that lunch is perfectly fine. "Particularly because the code allows us to take a lunch with each other as long as we don't discuss county business or make decisions at those functions," said Boykin. Moving forward, the board of supervisors plan of taking extra precaution against these perceived *secret meetings.* "I think that what we'll do is post the lunch at the end of the agendas. I know that we have to come back in the afternoons to deliberate, particularly over budgets as we do in December. I will print a little notice that we will be taking a lunch at a particular place or location so the public can be aware of that," said Boykin. Now, as Boykin said, this shouldn't be an ongoing problem.He told me that the public can expect to start seeing notices on lunch locations for the board by its next meeting.