TWIN FALLS — The Twin Falls County Commission has voted to change its public meeting times in hopes of consolidating agenda items and being more accessible to the public.
Commissioners Don Hall and Brent Reinke on Thursday approved a meeting notice to be posted at the commissioners’ office and on the county’s website. The notice replaces a previous notice that created some confusion about the new meeting times.
The commissioners will now conduct public business at the County West building at 10 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays — except on the first Monday of each month, when they’ll meet at 6 p.m.
“I think that the evening meeting is going to be a plus,” Reinke said.
Hall said the commission has been talking about making changes to its meeting schedule for years. It has traditionally met at 10 a.m. daily to conduct public business, and the length of agendas varies considerably.
“For a lot of our population to come here at 10 o’clock on a business day is next to impossible for them because those are the hours they have to go to work,” Hall said. “This is an effort to reach out to our community, see if this works, and to be more accessible to segments of our community.”
As part of its efforts to be more transparent, the commission also last week posted a notice of its meetings on its website. Hall told the Times-News the commissioner’s office, by oversight, had not been noticing its meetings online. The agendas, however, are posted and updated regularly.
Idaho’s open meeting law requires public bodies that own websites to post notices for regularly held meetings online at least once annually.
The change to meeting times was originally made Feb. 25. However, the initial notice did not clarify that there would be no 10 a.m. meeting on the first Monday of the month. And although a press release sent to the Times-News stated the changes took place March 4, the commissioners met at their usual time that morning. The April 1 meeting will take place at 6 p.m. as posted unless otherwise noticed.
Hall said that although the commission may have fewer public meetings, commissioners’ schedules are not getting any lighter. The officials are frequently out in the community going to events, fundraisers and meetings.
Public meetings take place on the second floor of the County West building, 650 Addison Ave. W., in the Commissioners Meeting Room except the first Monday meeting, which will be in the Planning and Zoning meeting room.
Commissioner Jack Johnson was not present at Thursday’s meeting due to a scheduling conflict.