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Vox Hawkeye A Study in the Intellectual Call for Open Government (and How One State Heeded It)
Unformatted Document Text:  bargaining negotiations—plus a couple of other of its amendments for good measure. 162 “The House rejected (the Senate’s) provision and decided that only the initial requests of public employee groups and the initial response of public employers should be made public. (Rep. Don) Avenson said the House wording would force public employers and employees to be more realistic in their initial bargaining proposals. ‘I believe it will moderate the positions both sides take initially,’ he said.” 163 Besides the much-anticipated shoot-out over the open-bargaining provision, the House also held firm in insisting upon its formulation of the personnel exemption and its general definition of what constituted a “meeting”: The Senate version would allow a meeting to be closed to consider the evaluation or discharge of a person whose reputation might suffer needless or irreparable injury. The House insisted on its wording, which would allow a meeting to be closed to consider the employment, evaluation or discharge of a person whose reputation might suffer needless or irreparable injury. Avenson argued against the House version. “The term ‘evaluation,’ I believe, is going to become the new catchall exemption,” he said, adding, “I see no good reason not to have an open meeting to discuss the employment or appointment of an individual.” The House also insisted on its definition of what constitutes a meeting. The Senate said a meeting “shall not include a gathering of members of a government body for purely social purposes.” The House version says a meeting “shall not include a gathering of members of a governmental body for purely ministerial, social or informational purposes.” (Rep. Norman) Jesse said the vast majority of governmental meetings are informational. The House wording, he said, “would create a loophole that would make the loopholes we are trying to close pale in comparison.” (Rep. Tom) Tauke said the House language is necessary to prevent boards of supervisors from being charged with violating the open meetings law every time they inspect a bridge and hear a complaint from a farmer about dusty roads and don’t inform the public that a meeting is taking place. 164 162 Charles Bullard, “House Slams Door on Bid to Tighten Open Meetings,” The Des Moines Register, 14 April 1978, 4A. 163 Ibid. 164 Ibid.

Authors: stepanek, steve.
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bargaining negotiations—plus a couple of other of its amendments for good measure.
  “The House 
rejected (the Senate’s) provision and decided that only the initial requests of public employee groups and 
the initial response of public employers should be made public.  (Rep. Don) Avenson said the House 
wording would force public employers and employees to be more realistic in their initial bargaining 
proposals. ‘I believe it will moderate the positions both sides take initially,’ he said.”
Besides the much-anticipated shoot-out over the open-bargaining provision, the House also held 
firm in insisting upon its formulation of the personnel exemption and its general definition of what 
constituted a “meeting”:
The Senate version would allow a meeting to be closed to consider the evaluation or 
discharge of a person whose reputation might suffer needless or irreparable injury.  The House 
insisted on its wording, which would allow a meeting to be closed to consider the employment, 
evaluation or discharge of a person whose reputation might suffer needless or irreparable injury.
Avenson argued against the House version.  “The term ‘evaluation,’ I believe, is going to 
become the new catchall exemption,” he said, adding, “I see no good reason not to have an open 
meeting to discuss the employment or appointment of an individual.”
The House also insisted on its definition of what constitutes a meeting.  The Senate said a 
meeting “shall not include a gathering of members of a government body for purely social 
purposes.”  The House version says a meeting “shall not include a gathering of members of a 
governmental body for purely ministerial, social or informational purposes.”
(Rep. Norman) Jesse said the vast majority of governmental meetings are informational. 
The House wording, he said, “would create a loophole that would make the loopholes we are 
trying to close pale in comparison.”
(Rep. Tom) Tauke said the House language is necessary to prevent boards of supervisors 
from being charged with violating the open meetings law every time they inspect a bridge and 
hear a complaint from a farmer about dusty roads and don’t inform the public that a meeting is 
taking place.
162
Charles Bullard, “House Slams Door on Bid to Tighten Open Meetings,” The Des Moines Register, 14 April 
1978, 4A.
163
 Ibid.
164
 Ibid.


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