Summary of Decision December 20, 2013
Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the Court. Reversed in part and affirmed in part.
Case Name: INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 279 v. CITY OF CHEYENNE
Docket Number: S-13-0038
Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County the Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge
Representing Appellant: Julie Nye Tiedeken of McKellar, Tiedeken & Scoggin, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Representing Appellee: Steven F. Freudenthal of Freudenthal & Bonds, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Date of Decision: December 20, 2013
Facts: The International Association of Firefighters Local Union No. 279 (the Union) appeals from the district court’s declaratory judgment on issues related to its 2012-2013 collective bargaining session with the City of Cheyenne (the City). The district court ruled on summary judgment that under the statutory definition of “corporate authorities,” the City could negotiate through “either the mayor or any member of the city council” and a quorum of the city council was not required to negotiate. The district court also determined there were no justiciable controversies over whether the Public Meetings Act and the Public Records Act applied under the circumstances presented.
Issues: In its primary brief, the Union presents the following issues on appeal: 1.Was the District Court’s declaration that “either the mayor or any member of the city council is a corporate authority within the meaning of Wyoming Statute § 27-10-104” in error? 2. Did the District Court err in determining that it did not have jurisdiction to consider whether Wyoming’s Public Meetings Act applies to collective bargaining negotiations? 3. Did the District Court err in determining that there was no justiciable controversy on the issue of whether proposals exchanged by the parties during collective bargaining negotiations are public record? 4. Are proposals exchanged by the parties during collective bargaining negotiations public records?
The City restates the issues as: A. Under W.S. § 27-10-101(a)(ii), does a mayor and/or city council person constitute a corporate authority authorized to negotiate with the union or is a quorum of the city council the corporate authority that must conduct the negotiations? B. Does the obligation to “meet and confer in good faith” under W.S. § 27-10-104 impose a blanket rule that negotiations must be conducted in executive session? C. With respect to issues D and E, infra, is the Union seeking an advisory opinion? D. Assuming that a quorum of the city council is required to conduct the negotiations, is it mandatory for the negotiations to be conducted in executive session? E. Assuming that a quorum of the city council is required to conduct the negotiations and the city council properly votes to adjourn to an executive session, are proposals exchanged between the parties public records?
Holdings: We reverse the district court’s decision that the mayor and/or a single city council member are corporate authorities and conclude the statutes mandate a quorum of the city council to negotiate with the Union. We affirm its decision that the other two issues are not justiciable, although our reasoning differs on the public meetings issue.
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court
[SPECIAL NOTE: This opinion uses the "Universal Citation." It was given an "official" citation when it was issued. You should use this citation whenever you cite the opinion, with a P.3d parallel citation. You will also note when you look at the opinion that all of the paragraphs are numbered. When you need to provide a pinpoint citation to a quote the universal portion of the citation will use that paragraph number. The pinpoint citation in the P.3d portion will need to have the reporter page number. If you need assistance in putting together a citation from this, or any future opinion using the Universal Citation form, please contact the Wyoming State Law Library and we will provide any needed assistance]
Monday, December 23, 2013
Summary of Decision December 20, 2013