For the second time in a week, the Iowa House has voted to keep the public out when county-level commissions decide how much property owners should be paid for land condemned to build a road. Representative Jeri Huser, a democrat from Altoona, says people are refusing to serve on the commissions because deliberations are open to the public. Representative David Heaton, a republican from Mount Pleasant, says members of the “compensation commissions” don’t want to serve if the public can watch and hear the decision-making process . But Representative Teresa Garman, a republican from Ames, says openness should be the rule. She says people have a right to know what’s going on when their property is being discussed.Representative David Johnson, a republican from Ocheyedan, says the public should be able to attend meetings of the commissions which decide how much the government should pay property owners or their land,The House has attached the open meetings law change to two separate bills, hoping the Senate will pass at least one of the bills.
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