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CEDAR FALLS — The Cedar Falls City Council this week spent an evening in training on two topics at a work session: ex parte communication and conflicts of interest.

Both were topics brought up by Cedar Falls residents during previous council meetings.

The training was delivered by attorneys from Ahlers Cooney.

Council member Mark Miller requested the training at a council session earlier in the year.

Kristine Stone, an attorney from Ahlers, gave the main presentation to the council.

Stone focused on sections of Iowa Code and Iowa Supreme Court cases that establish how cities and council members should behave.

“You’re acting as a body,” said Ahlers attorney Nathan Overberg. “The integrity of your body has to be maintained individually.”

The council also discussed putting agendas for work sessions online.

For regular sessions of the council, the agenda is sent via email and posted on the city’s website and in City Hall, usually the Friday prior to the meeting.

Presently agendas for work sessions are posted in City Hall the Friday prior to a Monday meeting but not on the city website.

“I brought it forward as a concern,” said councilmember Rob Green. “We’re meeting the letter of the law, but we’re not meeting the intent by failing to broadcast out to the public that this meeting is taking place.”

Cedar Falls Mayor Jim Brown countered that the city goes above and beyond in its attempts to get the regular meeting agenda out to members of the public.

The council signaled it would like to see work session agendas on the city’s website, said Cedar Falls City Administrator Ron Gaines.


Staff Writer

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