BULLETIN 9:30 a.m. Wednesday—
Following publication of the story below, GBAD blinked and released the name of ROB PEREZ, president of Western Capital Bank. We applaud release of the name and will provide more bio details soon–well before he is confirmed by the GBAD board at the Monday meeting.
Ignoring Idaho case law, the legal counsel for the Greater Boise Auditorium District advised officials Tuesday to withhold names of those being considered for appointment to the elected board, following a formal records request from the GUARDIAN.
The Idaho Business Review noted this week a vacancy on the GBAD board created by the resignation of Mike Fitzgerald who is working in Idaho Falls.
In the opinion of the GUARDIAN, withholding the names is simply bad legal advice and flies in the face of a 1996 Idaho Supreme Court decision with nearly identical circumstances in which the court ordered the City of Boise to release names of potential appointees to a vacant city council seat. The court said in part:
“This is a public records disclosure case. We conclude that the public records law requires disclosure of all the records and information sought. This includes the names and resumes of applicants to be appointed to vacant city council positions…”
In conclusion the court said, “We reverse the trial court’s decision that the city is not required to disclose the resumes of the applicants for the city council who did not consent to the disclosure…”
Reporter Brad Iverson-Long says GBAD board members wouldn’t disclose the name or names of a possible replacement for Fitzgerald. Their failure to disclose the potential candidate is contrary to a past Idaho Supreme Court decision which declared candidates for an elected office MUST be made public prior to appointment.
That case was brought by the Idaho Statesman against the city of Boise under similar circumstances over a city council vacancy. If someone would otherwise be ELECTED to office, citizens have an absolute right to know their name and the same information to be found on a typical filing to run for that office. The GUARDIAN will gladly initiate legal action to force disclosure of the information being held from public scrutiny.
The GUARDIAN contacted board member Judy Peavey-Derr who said there are, “A whole bunch of potential names that have been put forth–all with different skill sets.” She referred us to Executive Director Pat Rice who contacted the lawyer and subsequently declined to provide the requested information.
The board is set to appoint the new member at a Monday meeting. If they delay a vote after revealing the candidate(s) we wouldn’t have much room to object, but to refuse a records request that would inform citizens of the names of people who are potential appointees is unacceptable.
If the board makes an appointment after keeping the name secret, we feel it undermines the entire democratic process, destroys any claim of “transparency,” and violates the law of the land.
IBR also noted Peavey-Derr and Hy Kloc, both members of the GBAD board, have announced they will be running for legislative seats, but plan to retain their GBAD elected positions if they are elected.
NOTE–For those wishing to read the entire case, it was 1996 Opinion No. 41. (Federated Publications dab Idaho Statesman vs City of Boise).
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