Open Meeting Law questions cloud Entsminger vote, but AG gives thumbs up

The Southern Nevada Water Authority Las Vegas Valley Water District chose John Entsminger this morning to replace his boss, Pat Mulroy.

That was expected. What wasn't expected was a kerfuffle about the Open Meeting Law, which threatened to derail the choice and perhaps put a previous water rate vote in jeopardy, too. But the attorney general's office apparently agreed with the water district's lawyer that the vote was valid, and he sent out a letter (see below) confirming the validity of the selection. 

Here's what it boils down to, as distilled by one county insider: The law requires that the meeting  be posted "by 9 a.m. three working days before the meeting". The agenda posted on Tuesday afternoon.  You can't count Wednesday, because it is New Years day and a Legal Holiday.  You count Thursday, then (the argument goes) you shouldn't count Friday, because the (water district) offices are closed and you can't see anyone or get any information or answers to questions you might have.  Then you count Monday and the meeting was today.  That is only two days. (County Counsel)) Mary Miller said Friday shouldn't count; the water attorney (Gregory Walch) said since there are "field service,and customer service" people available by phone it should count. 

My reaction: The water district office is closed Friday? What?

A flurry of activity ensued after the meeting, resulting in the letter Walch sent out.
Nothing is ever easy on Grand Central Parkway.
Here's the Walch memo:
Las Vegas Valley Water District Board of Directors
500 Grand Central Parkway, 6th
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155
Re: Las Vegas Valley Water District Board Meeting Notices
Dear President Scow, Vice President Sisolak, and Directors,
Preceding the Las Vegas Valley Water District Board meeting this morning, a question 
arose as to whether the meeting was properly posted under NRS 241.020, which requires that 
“written notice of all meetings must be given at least 3 working days before the meeting.” The 
posting for today’s meeting (Tuesday, January 7, 2014) occurred on Tuesday, December 31, 
2013. However, Wednesday, January 1, 2014, was an intervening holiday, and the District’s 
offices are not physically open to the public on Fridays. Accordingly, the question is whether 
Fridays can be counted as “working day(s).”
Chapter 241 does not define the term “working day”. However, the Nevada Attorney 
General has concluded that “the term working day, while not defined in the statutes, is given a 
common meaning.” Open Meeting Law Opinion 1996-04. The common meaning of the term is 
that “working days include every day of the week except for Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays 
declared by law or by proclamation of the President.” Id. These conclusions are repeated in the 
Attorney General’s most recent Open Meeting Law Manual publication (June 2012) at 
section 6.05. Pursuant to the Attorney General opinion and principal guidance document, 
therefore, today’s meeting was properly posted because there were three intervening working 
days after the notice (Thursday, January 2; Friday, January 3; and Monday, January 6, 2014). 
Additionally, while District offices are not physically open to the public on Fridays, 
Fridays are working days for many District employees, including many in customer service, 
public information, and field services. On Fridays, members of the public are able to 
communicate with customer service and public information offices by phone. These services 
would enable any member of the public to, among other things, pay bills, discuss a service issue, 
or seek answers to questions about an agenda item. Based on the foregoing, I believe today’s 
meeting was properly posted and the Board was authorized to act.
{2014.01.07 Letter to LVVWD BOD re Posting of Meeting Notices - ADMIN/GJW - 00024081}
January 7, 2014
Page 2
As suggested by President Scow, we will notice today’s General Manager selection for 
ratification by the Board immediately preceding your next County Commission meeting on 
January 21, 2014. In addition, our intention is to give an additional day’s notice for future 
District meetings to remove any doubt regarding the sufficiency of meeting notices under 
NRS 241.020.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Gregory J. Walch, Esq.
General Counsel