Osage City Council to take required training on Kansas open meetings law

The Osage City Council will have a training session on the state’s open meetings laws at 6 p.m. Tuesday, as part of a settlement agreement with Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones for violating the Kansas Open Meeting Act.

The training, held at the council chambers at Fifth and Lord streets, is open to the public and will precede the council’s regular meeting that usually begins at 7 p.m.

The council members admitted they violated the law during the Aug. 13 meeting when they voted secretly to appoint Bruce Schoepflin as council member to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Rick Martin.

The county attorney requested that the council void Schoepflin’s appointment and receive training on the provisions of KOMA from the legal staff of “the Kansas League of Municipalities or the Kansas Attorney General’s Office … to be paid for by the individual council members and not the City.”

The council members agreed they violated the law and will engage in no further violations of KOMA. The agreement also noted that should the council members engage in any further violations of KOMA, the agreement would become void and the county attorney could institute prosecution.

At least three citizens filed complaints against the council for the violation of K.S.A. 75-4318(a), which provides that no binding action by public bodies can be made by secret ballot. The council later appointed Schoepflin in a public vote.

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