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Marathon County Board agrees to judge review of recording ordinance


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The Marathon County Board of Supervisors agreed with the Executive Committee, and decided to seek a judge’s opinion about a new rule against board members recording closed session meetings. 

The County Board decided in August to establish a new rule prohibiting its own members from recording audio or video of closed session meetings, even if the person recording it was rightfully attending that meeting. Last Wednesday, we reported that the county’s Executive Committee and Supervisor Oliver Burrows agreed that the county should seek what’s called a declaratory judgement. This will let a judge decide if the new ordinance is legal without either the county or Burrows filing a lawsuit.

The full board agreed Tuesday that this was the appropriate thing to do. Corporation Counsel Scott Corbett believes the county’s new ordinance is acceptable, but he is concerned because no other county has such an ordinance. Burrows believes he has a constitutional right to maintain an accurate record of what is said, in case their actions are ever questioned in court.

A majority of the County Board agreed a judge should review the new ordinance.