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August 14, 2019

Request: Did the Fargo Park District violate the open meetings laws by failing to adequately notice topics to be discussed at a special meeting?

Conclusion: The Fargo Park District's Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on July 2, 2019. The notice only listed one agenda topic, “HR/Staff review.” The original purpose of the meeting was to review the staff survey regarding the Executive Director’s job performance but before the meeting, the Executive Director made a verbal offer to resign and asked the commission to consider a severance package. During the meeting the commission accepted the resignation and approved a severance package, and then approved the appointment of an interim director. The vague topic “HR/Staff review” did not sufficiently describe the specific topic the commission clearly knew it would be discussing at the special meeting. The Fargo Park District violated the open meetings law. The district must review the meeting minutes from the July 2, 2019, special meeting and add in further details of what was specifically discussed.

Opinion 2019-O-17

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