City Council debates whether audit committee's meeting should be - KOTA Territory News

City Council debates whether audit committee's meeting should be open to public

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The Rapid City Council cannot come to an agreement on whether an internal audit committee's meetings should be open to the public.

The 'COMPASS Committee' was created as an internal auditing committee for the city.

But whether or not its meetings should be open to the public was hotly debated at the City Council meeting Monday night; with aldermen sitting on both sides of the fence.

While members of the COMPASS Committee defend its actions.

"They're not trying to keep secrets from us. They are not a clandestine, secret covert operation trying to steal the city from the citizens. If anything they are trying to help it," said Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Wright.

"I still would rather see, regardless, COMPASS meetings be open and my logic on this is quite simple. If the fear is that even talking about something that could be audited still results in change because people suddenly are nervous; that can't be a bad thing," said Ward 5 Alderman Ron Sasso.

"We sit down as a committee and we work through an audit process. We are not making secretive little decisions in the dark hallways of some buildings; that's ridicules," said Bill Waugh, member of the COMPASS Committee.

Ultimately the Council passed a motion to request an official opinion from the South Dakota Attorney General on the legality of the COMPASS Committee holding working sessions that are not open to the public.

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