Opinion: Follow the law on Blackfeet agreement

That was my reaction to the front-page story in the Tribune Thursday about the Glacier County commission and the Blackfeet Tribe's cross-deputization agreement for law enforcement officials.

I had other reactions, but that's what can be printed.

Elected officials in Glacier County did not comply with Montana's state Open Meetings Law when entering into that agreement.

Members of the public β€” including anyone who lives in Glacier County, reads the newspaper, listens to the radio, pays taxes, has a pending court date, plays golf, drives an SUV, eats beef, gardens organically, votes ... you get the picture β€” have a state-law-backed right to comment on agreements that their city, county and state tax-paid officials enter into.

The folks with decision-making authority in city, county and state employment need to give you adequate time to know what they are up to and plan to act on in an official capacity β€” the authority you gave them when they were elected.

It's pretty simple: Post the agenda of meetings people with authority hold at least 48 hours in advance. When actions are taken, it needs to be in a public meeting, with a quorum."

Get the Story:
Jo Dee Black: Board's intentions fine, but the meetings must be open (The Great Falls Tribune 8/28)

Related Stories:
County withdraws from Blackfeet policing deal (8/27)
County warned against Blackfeet police deal (08/12)
Editorial: Legal issues for Blackfeet policing (8/11)
Blackfeet Nation signs law enforcement deal (8/7)
Delay for Blackfeet Nation law enforcement deal (7/21)
Blackfeet Nation reaches law enforcement deal (7/17)
Editorial: Progress on Blackfeet law enforcement (7/16)
Blackfeet Nation reaches law enforcement deal (7/15)
US Attorney in Montana seeks more crime data (7/13)