Lincoln City, OR – Trial dates have been set for two lawsuits that claim the Lincoln City Council violated Oregon’s Public Meetings and Public Records Laws over 60 times since 2011.
The first case, Ross Smith vs. City of Lincoln City I (15CV22131), claims the city council held over 60 illegal secret meetings without alerting the public of their existence, thereby violating Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 192.640. Today, Lincoln County Judge Thomas Branford scheduled the trial for April 17, 2018.
The second case, Ross Smith vs. City of Lincoln City II (16CV21270), claims the city council illegally appointed Richard (“Dick”) Anderson to council, as well as illegally appointing numerous Planning Commissioners, and Budget Committee members by secret ballot, thereby violating ORS 192.650. Lincoln County Judge Sheryl Bachart scheduled this trial for May 16, 2018.
When asked about the cases, Smith said: “Our city council could avoid the time and expense of these trials by simply apologizing to our citizens for having ‘possibly’ violated the law. In fact, the wording of the apology is the exact same wording they forced our Mayor to agree to on Sept. 26, 2016, after holding nine secret executive sessions in their failed attempt to extract a confession from him.”
When Lincoln City Homepage told Smith a litigation attorney suggested these two trials could cost taxpayers $200,000 or more, an amount far exceeding the $40,000 allocated for litigation in the city’s current budget, he replied: “let’s hope our city council avoids this unnecessary expense, and places the needs of our citizens first. There are so many other more pressing matters for them to address.”