The concept is fairly mundane, nothing to get excited about. Executive and leadership boards quite often go on “retreats” to places other than their usual haunts to hash out ideas and plans in a fresh setting, supposedly to add a creative boost to stale neural patterns, a fresh perspective from a different place.
But when publicly elected officials decide to move their public meeting to a venue far away from their constituents, the retreat concept can take on a different twist altogether. Electric City’s City Council is planning one in Moses Lake.
The fact that the law requires that their meetings be open to the public stems from the fact that legislators thought the public should be able to attend them. Moving the meeting more than an hour away from city hall, tends to make one think that in this case the city council disagrees.
There is nothing illegal about holding a retreat in a far off place, but it certainly flies in the face of the intent of the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.
The council and the mayor should reconsider.
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