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An illegal meeting?

February 28, 2014
Estherville News

When Emmet County supervisor Jon Martyr offered genuine concerns at Tuesday's meeting of the board of supervisors that the other members of the board may have violated the state open meetings law, we felt compelled to check on it.

After consulting with both Chris Mudge, executive director of the Iowa Newspaper Association, and attorney Keith Luchtel of the Iowa Public Information Board, it was determined that the board had not violated the law.

We felt it was very important to set the record straight on this matter.

We as a newspaper do not agree with every position that Martyr takes on every issue. He on at least one occasion has publicly criticized the editorial position of this newspaper at a supervisors meeting.

This is not to say, though, that Martyr's concerns Tuesday were not valid. After enduring major surgery only days before, he made the effort to come to the board meeting to object about how the board had handled the termination of an employee. To say that Martyr was in extreme physical agony would be putting it mildly.

The fact that Martyr bore up under excruciating pain to make his position known at Tuesday's supervisors meeting is nothing short of heroic. He knew in advance how the board would vote on an issue that impacted an employee, and he could easily have stayed away from the meeting and continued his recovery. That was what everyone would have expected.

But that isn't what he did.

Instead, he came to offer his voice in the defense of principles he believes in.

Finding a person of his ideals, conviction and courage is extremely rare.

We need more people like him in public service.



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