County board awards millions by private email votes, not public meetings

The Malheur County Development Corp. board may have broken Oregon Open Meetings Law with a series of decisions last month. The board oversees the rail reload project now under construction in Nyssa. (The Enterprise/LES ZAITZ)

NYSSA - Brad Baird needed to get a $5 million contract awarded for the Nyssa rail project and he felt he had little time.

But Baird, president of Anderson Perry & Associates – the firm hired to do the engineering work on the $26 million project - had a problem. Such a decision required a vote by the Malheur County Development Corp. board and there was no meeting on the schedule.

“We need to avoid losing this week as the schedule is tight for the project,” Baird wrote to the members of the Malheur County Development Corp., the nonprofit entity created by the county . . .