Now we know
The question now has been answered in black and white by the state attorney general. Any group appointed by a taxing entity — including city councils, county commission, and school boards — are bound by the same open meeting laws as the governing boards themselves regardless of whether or not decisions will be made by the appointed group.
When these violations occur, typically it is not intentional. Usually it is the result of a group wanting to complete the tasks as quickly and painlessly as possible. Unfortunately, the public does have a right to know what they may be paying for in the end.
We know the jail committee did not intentionally disrespect the law. Look at the board members — respected business owners and professional people. If they had known the letter of the law, they would have followed it.
So, now they know. We all know.
And since we know, let’s become more involved with the process. The jail committee has asked for comments and input from the public regarding the jail crisis. We have received a few comments but the group needs to hear more. Send them to us. We’ll pass them on and print them in the newspaper.
Residents need to become more involved in the process. This newspaper will publish the time, date, and location of future jail meetings so the public can become more involved.
This is an important process that could affect this county and its taxpayers for many years to come. The committee needs to know what county residents will and won’t support now instead of waiting until the process is completed.
— susan berg
Last modified Oct. 21, 2009