Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued an opinion that the Williams County School District #8 and Williston School District #1 did not violate the open meetings laws because the discussions during special meetings were within the context of the posted agenda items.
For special meetings, only the topics on the meeting agenda may be discussed. The Williams County School District #8 and the Williston School District #1 are considering the future of the two schools due to overcrowding issues and have engaged in discussions regarding various options. On April 22, 2020, the Williams County School board held a special meeting to discuss, among other topics, the superintendent’s position and scope of duties. During the discussion, the board recognized the need for more information on the future of the school and decided to request a meeting with the Williston School Board. The board’s discussions were within the scope of the posted agenda items. On April 24, 2020, the two school boards held a joint meeting to discuss several topics, including the employment of a joint superintendent, open enrollment, and funding issues. These discussions were within the context of the posted agenda items.