More on the topic of you-really-gotta’-follow-your-own-rules-when-making-laws. Williston City Commission edition.

Crew camp on north side of Williston that the city wants to shut down. Photo by James Ulvog.
Crew camp on north side of Williston that the city wants to shut down. Photo by James Ulvog.

Looks like the Williston City Commission is in deeper trouble on the crew camp issue.

Judge Hovland issued a preliminary injunction against the city’s rule to close all the man camps because he found it likely the city violated its own rules in passing the ordinance. Specifically, it is likely the ordinance should have received a super-majority vote of 4-1 under the city’s own rules.

Now, writer Rob Port has received a written opinion from the state Attorney General that the city commissioners violated the state open meeting law in their efforts to find a way to shut down the camps.

6/29 – Rob Port at Say Anything Blog – AG: City of Williston Broke Open Meeting Law With Meetings About Man Camp Ban – The basis for the AG’s ruling is that when two commissioners attended an informal meeting with developers, apartment owners, and camp operations it was not officially a meeting. When a third commissioner replaced one of the two, that created a quorum of the commission, thus the informal sessions triggered the open meeting rules and therefore must be opened to the public.

6/29 – Forum News Service at Dickinson Press – Williston broke open meeting law with crew camp meeting, AG says – Article summarizes the information mentioned above.

Some recent background on the crew camp ban in these posts:

Lesson learned: government officials need to follow the rules when forcing through actions. If you get caught, you will see the rule overturned and your name in the paper.

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