The Minnehaha County Commission Tuesday appointed a panel to review the county's election procedures, and after some debate commissioners decided the group's meetings should be open to the public.
They didn't have to be, the commission's assistant department head Robert Wilson told commissioners. Because the committee has no statutory authority, its proceedings do not fall under the state open meeting law. Only the final report it delivers to the commission is a public document, Wilson said.
Auditor Bob Litz and Commissioner Dick Kelly argued for the election review committee's meetings to be closed. They said it would encourage frank discussion, and Kelly added that closed meetings would not add fuel to an already highly-charged political debate about issues arising in the general election. He said, "I do believe in open government," but added "there has got to be open and frank discussion among committee members without the danger of it ending up a headline or a lead news story." Continue>>>