Request: Did the City of Wildrose violate the open meetings laws by using text messages and emails to communicate among themselves about city business? Do the minutes of the city’s January meeting comply with the requirements of the law?
Conclusion: Use of electronic media for ministerial matters such as setting a meeting date or time is acceptable. In response to inquiries from this office, however, the Wildrose city council admitted to using text messaging and email to discuss city business and approve final action. In addition, the city council also engaged in discussions, collectively involving a quorum, on matters of public business. These actions violated the open meetings laws, which requires a public entity to hold substantive discussions of public business in a properly noticed meeting that is open to the public. The approved minutes of the January 2018 meeting of the Wildrose City Council comply with the requirements of the law.