Words Matter

Intentions matter. An issue I thought had been resolved the first time I held a seat on the Board of Ada County Commissioners has come back around.

The Prosecutor’s Office uses a standardized form to create Resolutions for the Board to consider, containing the following language:

“AT A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF ADA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, State of Idaho, on the _____ day of __________, 2010, the following Resolution was unanimously adopted, to wit:”

Unless the Idaho Open Meeting Law is being violated, who knows whether any given Resolution will be adopted unanimously before the actual vote is taken?! And what purpose does the word even serve?

In fairness, there are a few circumstances under which the Board must make a unanimous decision, such as entering into a five-year lease for county property without a bid process, but they are few and far between.

When this matter was brought to his attention, Ada County’s Chief Civil Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ted Argyle indicated he would immediately have the issue addressed by changing the standardized form.

It is presumptuous to assume that this Board, or any other, will always act in unison.

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