City Council continues heated discussion over Compass meetings - KOTA Territory News

City Council continues heated discussion over COMPASS meetings

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The Rapid City Council approves to delay the decision to ask Attorney General Marty Jackley for his opinion on COMPASS meetings and open the meetings to the public.

There's been a lot of controversy regarding holding either open or closed COMPASS meetings; the internal audit committee created by the city. In December the City Council passed a motion to request an official opinion on the matter from Jackley.

But Monday night, the City Attorney brought it to the council's attention that a few years ago the city of Sioux Falls asked Jackley for an opinion on a very similar issue and his ruling was that the committee is allowed to hold closed meetings. But the Attorney adds there is a bill in the upcoming legislative session that if passed, would ensure all city created committees hold public meetings.

So in the end, the council voted to hold off asking for an opinion from the Attorney General, but not without a lengthy, heated discussion.

"Mayor Kooiker you have lost your moral authority to hold your position. You approved this due process, you signed it into law. Your accusations have damaged COMPASS and our Council," said Bonnie Petersen, City Council President.

"I firmly believe that this is the best direction, for COMPASS meetings to be open," said Alderman Ron Sasso.

"This motion is about openness, I was in a meeting with the Mayor last week wherein he stated he wants everything open. Funny how that only means the things that pertain to other people," said Alderwoman Charity Doyle.

In the end, the City Council agreed to delay the request and open all future COMPASS meetings to the public.

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