COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Council attorney, Dan Sigler, suggested the recent lawsuit brought by several Whitko residents is “not well-motivated” and will ask that it be dismissed.
The suit stems from what the plaintiffs in the suit say is violation of the Indiana Open Door Law. A scheduled county council meeting on July 28 was conducted with members of the council voting on the issue to put a tax referendum for Whitko school district on the general election ballot. The council denied the request and the meeting adjourned. An hour later the council reconvened and changed its vote.
Sigler’s opinion is that the action in the first meeting held where a vote was taken to not place the referendum on the ballot “was wrong.”
In the council’s defense, Sigler stated at Wednesday’s meeting, that the second meeting, considered a reconvening of the council, did not require notice to the public. After the first meeting was adjourned, Councilman Jim Bayman left the premises. The council reconvened, after additional information was learned, with one less council member, and the resolution passed 3-1. Bayman was unavailable to be reached to attend the second meeting.
That’s when a suit was filed against the members of the Whitley County Council. The council’s attorney and commissioners were served a summons but are only “interested parties,” as described by the Whitley County Clerk’s office, and not one of the defendants in the lawsuit.
The referendum question was ultimately defeated by Whitko taxpayers during Tuesday’s election.