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2010 North Dakota Attorney General Reports and Opinions 1 (2010)

handle is hein.sag/sagnd0048 and id is 1 raw text is: OPEN RECORDS AND MEETINGS OPINION
DATE ISSUED:   February 5, 2010
ISSUED TO:     Ward County Commission
This office received a request for an opinion under N.D.C.C. § 44-04-21.1 from Jim Lee
asking whether the Ward County Commission violated N.D.C.C. § 44-04-20 by holding
meetings without prior notice.1
The Ward County Commission (Commission) is made up of five members: Bruce I.
Christianson, Carroll Erickson, Jack Nybakken, John Fjeldahl, and Jerome Gruenberg.
At the June 16, 2009, regular meeting the Ward County Sheriff raised several concerns
about courthouse security. As a result of the concerns, the Commission created a
security committee to review the courthouse security policy and procedures.2 The
members of the security committee consisted of seven members, one of whom is a
member of the county commission.3 The security committee was to return to the
Commission with security recommendations.
The security committee met three times: June 29, November 19, and November 25,
2009.4 No public notice was given for the meetings held at the Ward County
Courthouse and no minutes were prepared, although notes were taken by Devra
1 The requester also asked if the County Commission circumvented the county's Home
Rule Charter when it approved the courthouse security policy without a first or second
reading of the policy as required by the charter. That issue is not within the scope of the
open meetings law and will not be further addressed.
2 Minutes of Ward County Commission meeting (June 16, 2009).
3 Id.
4 Letter from Bruce I. Christianson, Chairman, Ward County Commission, to Mary Kae
Kelsch, Assistant Attorney General (Dec. 22, 2009).

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