By Roger Utnehmer
The Kewaunee County Town of Casco clerk says she’s getting “sick of phone calls” asking her to comply with state law that requires notice of meetings of governmental bodies be provided to the news media.
Terrie Gabriel told DoorCountyDailyNews.com that she is complying with state law by posting notices of Town of Casco meetings on the town hall bulletin board, Rio Creek Feed Mill and one other location.
State statutes require any news organization requesting written prior notice of town board meetings to be given than information at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting.
Gabriel said she would have to send notices to 800 newspapers in Wisconsin, that she feels like she’s being harassed, that nobody wants jobs in town government and providing notices of meetings is why.
The state law simply requires news organizations that request notification to be provided with times, locations and items to be discussed.
In an interview, she also asked if other clerks were being asked to comply with the law, saying “I have a right to know that.”
She asked DoorCountyDailyNews.com to explain what will be done with the information she provides.
In June DoorCountyDailyNews.com sent the first of three requests to all governmental bodies in Door and Kewaunee to comply with the open meetings law. Most municipal governments have complied with the law but after not hearing from the Town of Casco clerk Gabriel a phone message was left indicating she would be in violation of the law if meeting notices are not provided as requested.
Another follow up phone call was made Tuesday in which Gabriel made clear her irritation with having to comply with the law. She said efforts to get compliance with the law is “harassment.”
The head of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Bill Lueders said recently that if a municipality does not give notice as required by law actions taken by the offending governmental body could be ruled null and void and offenders subject to fines.