One of the biggest contrasts in public access to state and local governments in Iowa came into focus last week, and Iowans should be concerned by what occurred.
A bit of context: Iowans have long had the right to sit in on almost every meeting of state government policy-making and governing boards and on meetings of their local school board, city council and county board of supervisors.
That law requires a board or council to post the agenda for its meeting at least 24 hours before the meeting. This notice requirement exists to give the public time to offer their opinions on an issue and to arrange to attend the meeting.
While the law does not require government entities to allow citizens to speak at the meetings, most boards and councils, with rare exceptions, do permit public input at their meetings. (Read more…)