The state's legislative committee reviewing/re-writing open government meeting laws needs to stop and close up shop, revoke all recommendations and go back home. After first deciding to allow for more elected officials to meet and make decisions on public policy in secret, they now offer exemptions of open meeting laws which only enhance perceptions of corruption.
Tom Humphrey's report in todays KNS on the recommendations provides a glimpse into how much business government wants to conduct away from public view:
- Meetings where purchase of property is being discussed.
- Meetings of school boards where the performance of a school superintendent is being discussed.
- Meetings of the board of government-owned hospitals when they are discussing "strategic planning" or "marketing strategies."
- Meetings dealing with the renting or leasing of property by government.
These officials just don't get it - the goal of open government is to serve the public, not hide the policy-makers from oversight.
Why the fearful concern over allowing the public to see how elected officials debate policy or make decisions? Are some afraid the public will see shoddy logic, poor planning, self-serving attitudes, histrionic grandstanding or other behavior which might influence voters?