River committee reversal questioned

 


Between the May 3 town council meeting and the morning of May 9, the Saratoga town council reversed course on an issue that had previously drawn uniform praise from the body.

“The plan is, we’ll get our river committee reformed,” Mayor Ed Glode told Jim States, president of the Valley’s Trout Unlimited Organization, at the April 19 town council meeting. States’ proposed advisory board was to issue recommendations to Saratoga about moving forward with a plan to address bank stabilization and flood mitigation for Saratoga residents.

When States approached the council about reconvening his committee a second time at the council’s May 3 meeting, he likewise met no resistance.

“Don’t we all agree that this should move forward?” councilwoman Judy Welton asked. Councilman Randy Raymer agreed, telling her, “I was under the impression that that’s where we left it last meeting.”

Then, on the morning of May 9, States got a call from Glode. The river committee, Glode told him, had been indefinitely suspended.

“I thought we had a path forward,” States said Monday morning. “It caught me totally by surprise,” he said.

When asked what may have motivated the council’s decision, States said “(Glode) did express unhappiness with the role some of the (probable) committee members had played in raising issues with the Army Corps of Engineers over work that was done at Veterans Island this spring.”


Glode said that the decision had been arrived at Friday afternoon, May 6, after he made a series of phone calls to consult individual council members.

This kind of closed communication is not allowed by the Wyoming Public Documents and Open Meetings Act 16-4-403. Section d of statute 16-4-403 states “communication outside a meeting, including, but not limited to, sequential communications among members of an agency, shall not be used to circumvent this act.”

Upon being informed of this law, the mayor pledged that the decision to dismantle the river committee would be discussed in open forum at the next town council meeting, May 17.

 

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