On Saturday, more than two dozen attendants were at the ?Know Your Rights? seminar, held at the Caliente Fire Hall, offered by the communications team of the Engaged Leadership Teams. The Engaged Leadership teams were forged through the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, and separated into three unique teams: communications, sustainable/healthy lifestyles and tourism. The seminar was also sponsored by the Lincoln Community Action Team (LCAT).
County District Attorney Daniel Hooge presented a slideshow of Open Meeting Law information to the public. ?Openness is the norm, not the exception,? Hooge said. Hooge explained what facts the Open Meeting Law covers from the Nevada Revised Statutes chapter 241. He discussed what rules the local boards, committees, commissions and other entities are responsible for following, and explained differences between the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Act, NRS chapter 239, as well as Parliamentary Procedure, in NRS chapter 244.
Hooge discussed the meeting basics, deliberation, actions and voting. He also discussed the importance of a thorough agenda.
Hooge explained how complaints are filed with the Attorney General?s office, and that for some complaints there is a statute of limitation on how long you have to file. He explained the investigative procedure that the Attorney General?s office goes through for complaints, and mentioned that the public body has 30 days to take action to correct a violation.
In 2011, laws changed for public comment, and Hooge informed the attendants of the two options now available for offering public comment during public meetings.
Hooge also provided important court case rulings that affected the Open Meeting Law, such as Dewey v. Redevelopment Agency of City of Reno, 119 Nev. 87, 94 (2003); Del Papa v. Board of Regents of the CCSN, 114. Nev.388,400 (1998), Sandoval v. Board of Regents, 119 Nev. 148 (2003).
Literature was suggested for those who wish to learn more about open meeting procedures, such as ?Robert?s Rules of Order.? Much information is also provided online.
Hooge encouraged the public to, ?work with your public officials.? For more information, visit the Attorney General?s website, www.ag.state.nv.us.