Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rep. Casada Wants Local Government to Meet in Secret Sessions

Rep. Glen Casada
I can't quite believe I have to write this post, reminding our elected officials that secret government meetings are illegal for a reason. Yet, here we are.

State Rep. Glen Casada and the Tennessee County Commissioners Association want elected officials to hold secret meetings. Rep. Casada is planning to offer new legislation which would make secret government meetings legal - a move he has to make since currently it is against the law.

There exists no reason for the change to secret meetings - other than denying public awareness, public participation and to demolish the way our democracy works.

"The actions of local government have a direct affect on the people who live in those jurisdictions. Local bodies set tax rates, create and enforce local laws, fund public education and other public services such as libraries, set policies for public school systems, appoint local boards and commissions, recommend and hire local public officials and set local government budgets. 

At no other level of government is public official accountability more important. While great attention is paid to state and federal government meetings, local public body meetings often are poorly attended by the public, and sometimes even by local media watchdogs. Keeping such meetings open and requiring public bodies to post public notices of meetings is the last defense the public has to ensuring its business is done in the open."

It's shameful enough already the state legislature does not have to follow the laws requiring open meetings. Rep. Casada and the TCCA must have something they want to hide - to allow them to do so will not end well.


  1. Joe,

    A couple months ago, a Democratic Party operative came up to me (I was covering the Jackson Day dinner) and asked "are you Joe Powell?" Honored, I laughed and clarified my last name; but this post looks like I could have written it, so the confusion may continue.

  2. even i often deny being me.