By Roger Utnehmer
The president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council has weighed in on the complaints from the Town of Casco clerk about having to comply with the state open meetings law.
In a post on DoorCountyDailyNews.com Wednesday Bill Lueders says Casco Town Clerk Terrie Gabriel is “badly misinformed.”
Lueders, head of the WFOIC, pointed to the law that requires municipal clerks to notify the news media in advance of meetings. The purpose of the law is to give the public access to the activities of their government and have a more informed electorate. You can find his comments with the original story at DoorCountyDailyNews.com, including specific references to the applicable state statute.
He questioned Gabriel’s claim that she would have to provide notices to 800 newspapers in Wisconsin.
Lueders made clear that clerks like Gabriel are required to notify any news organizations that request it. DoorCountyDailyNews.com sent several communications to every governmental body in Door and Kewaunee Counties requesting notification of meetings.
Gabriel objected to the requirement, saying it prevented people from running for public office. She claimed the repeated attempts by DoorCountyDailyNews.com to get Town of Casco compliance with the law constituted “harassment.”
Gabriel has agreed to comply with the open meetings notification requirements in the future.