Open Meeting Law violators pretty upset someone’s holding them accountable for violating the law

Victor Joecks

Last week, NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation filed an open meeting law violation against CCSD and Clark County’s Debt Management Commission. Nevada District Court Tomorrow, Judge Michelle Leavitt has set an emergency hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by NPRI’s Center for Justice and Constitutional Litigation.

On June 7, DMC did not hold a public comment period before voting to approve CCSD’s $669 million property-tax-increase proposal for the fall ballot. As laid out here, this is an open-and-shut case. DMC didn’t follow the law, and the action it took – approving the $669 million tax-increase proposal – is “void.”

And, oh boy, government officials are furious. They’re not upset that the public was denied a chance to weigh in on such an important matter – nope. They’re mad at NPRI for defending transparency and openness in government.

“I have no doubt it’s politically motivated,” said Haldemen, who oversees community and government relations. “It’s disappointing and frustrating.”

Note she’s not disappointed that the public was denied a chance to weigh in. She’s disappointed NPRI’s holding government accountable.

Clark County School Board member Linda Young didn’t want to make an assumption about the institute’s motives but said, “It certainly doesn’t look good.”

Wow. School board member Linda Young thinks it doesn’t look good that NPRI’s defending transparency and openness in government.

I’ll have to disagree, I think it looks – and is – great. Without accountability, government will get very opaque, and that’s why NPRI’s CJCL is standing in the gap for transparency.

It’s amazing to see so many government officials going on the record attacking us for defending the ability of citizens to offer comment on government proposals – which shows exactly why there is such a strong need for CJCL to take on cases like this one and remind government that it exists to serve people, not the other way around.

But here’s my “favorite” argument – attack the victim.

Haldeman, who is now overseeing the district’s proposed capital improvement plan, questioned NPRI’s motive in filing the lawsuit.

Suspect is the timing of NPRI’s lawsuit, which came just five days shy of the 60-day deadline to file a complaint on open-meeting law violations, Haldeman said.

When your side is clearly in the wrong, what’s left to do? You can either admit you are wrong or attack the victim. In this case, Haldeman is attacking NPRI for daring to challenge a government agency that broke the law and silenced the public.

Well, that’s what NPRI’s here for – speaking truth to power while defending transparency and openness in government.

And we’re happy to do that, because as seen above, some current government officials are fine with citizens not being heard until after the decisions have been made.