State officials plan informal meeting after backlash

State officials plan informal meeting after backlash

Wisconsin natural resources officials are planning to meet for a social hour and dinner this month despite their pledge to give up informal meetings following complaints of open meeting violations.

The state’s Department of Natural Resources policy board will gather in a downtown Madison pub this month despite promising in October to end the practice amid criticism that such meetings shut the public out of decision-making, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Department spokesman Jim Dick says this month’s meeting is different from past ones that are now the subject of a lawsuit because it has been announced more publicly.

There wasn’t a public notice before a January 2016, “social dinner” that drew a lawsuit and forced the board to vote a second time to approve controversial plans for snowmobiles in Blue Mound State Park.