What is an Open Meeting?

Iowa Code Chapter 21 - Official Meetings Open to Public (Open Meetings). 21.1 Intent — declaration of policy. This chapter seeks to assure, through a requirement of open meetings of governmental bodies, that the basis and rationale of governmental decisions, as well as those decisions themselves, are easily accessible to the people. Ambiguity in the construction or application of this chapter should be resolved in favor of openness.

The Iowa Public Information Board is an independent agency governed by nine members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. They offer training to governmental bodies and are a good source of information regarding both Open Meetings and Open Records.

The Attorney General has issued Sunshine Advisories relating to both Open Meetings and Open Records.

What is a closed session? A closed session is a session where the governmental body is able to discuss issues without members of the public present.  Iowa Code Chapter 21.5 lists valid reasons for holding a closed session, rules of conduct during a closed session, and how governmental bodies may take action based on discussion during the closed session.

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1. How do I run for an elected City office? What resources are available?
2. Does the Council have a rules or policy manual?
3. Who is my council representative or what ward do I live in?
4. Where do I obtain a copy of the City Council agenda or meeting minutes?
5. Where can I find videos of the council meetings?
6. Who maintains the meeting schedule?
7. What is an Open Meeting?