The GUARDIAN asked the folks at St. LuKe’s Regional Medical Center exactly who called the meeting that Sheriff Gary Raney contends was not a meeting, but the Ada Commissioners listed on the agenda as a meeting at the posh private Arid Club on Wednesday.
Government and community leaders were set to discuss a proposed drug and alcohol detox treatment center in a new jail expansion. The meeting was canceled when media and citizens showed up (see story below).
In the interest of clarity, here is a cut-and-paste of the reply from CEO Ed Dahlberg and his spokesperson at the hospital:
“The meeting you are referring to was called by Sheriff Raney – Ed’s assistant helped to make the arrangements for the luncheon also at his ( Raney’s) request given that Ed is a member of the Arid Club.
“St. Luke’s was invited to participate in the discussions about the detox center along with a number of other community partners. Yesterday’s meeting was intended to be an extension of those conversations. Ed’s understanding was that he would attend, listen and determine how our organization would participate moving forward. The sheriff chose to cancel the meeting.
–Beth Toal and Ed Dahlberg”
The sheriff needs to understand that public services–no matter how badly they are needed–should have PUBLIC light shed at every step of the planning and funding process. No special private presentation to “leaders.”
Based upon the commissioner’s published agenda, St. Luke’s response, and the media perception–only the sheriff wanted a private meeting. Let’s hope the sun shines bright on future gatherings that will result in expenditure of public funds.
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Sep 23, 2005, 4:08 pm
Seems like the county commissioners are taking a page from the legislature. Closed meetings determining policy and direction in clear violation of the open meeting law. Idaho, a one party state is not a democracy.
Editor note–in fairness to the commishes, the ultimately saw the error of their ways and walked away from the private meet.