Nov 1 2007
06:29 am

The County Commissioners Association voted to support changes in the Sunshine laws that essentially gut them. Any meeting would be ok to hold in private unless there was a quorum of commissioners present.

That's absurd and spits in the eye of the concept of open government.

Senator Randy McNally of Oak Ridge is opposed to the very idea. A round of applause to Rnady!

Ok, Senator Kilby...How about you?

Representative Ferguson?

And how about the Roane County Commission...Are you guys trying to hide from the people of Roane County or will you support open government?

Somebody needs to make some phone calls!

Our Local Commissioners Have a GOLDEN CHANCE, WC...

to show they will have an open and above-board government in Roane County.

I hope they don't flub it.

I recognize the realities of the nature of the political beast, I believe. It ain't always purty, nor can it be made to always appear so. But it can offer a degree of transparency that enhances trust rather than the opposite.

I recognize that, like almost everything, a process can be abused and the Sunshine Law is no exception. But, as in everything else that can be abused, the Latin axiom ABUSUS NON USUM TOLLIT (the abuse does not remove or take away the use) holds true. That should not be an excuse to not take advantage of the very positive potential afforded by the Sunshine Law and the general movement toward more transparent government.

I don't believe the County Commission or the people on the Ethics Committee are to be taken as simply a bunch of corrupt, crooked people. Some of them I know well enough to know for a fact that they are decent, honest, hard-working people. Yet sometimes they don't take advantage of all the good things that are available to help folks trust them. And that's a dang shame! I really hope they don't blow this one!

I think we've seen some instances of folks being hyper-critical of our County Commission, and that can promote a natural reflex of defensiveness. I really do hope, however, that they can be strong and resist an excessive level of defensiveness that could make them do something foolish like try to resist the spirit of the Sunshine Law. I think it wouldn't hurt them to make gestures of good faith. Then, if they are abused, they would have justifiable cause to tell some people where to get off.

I typed a lot just to agree with you, didn't I? ;-)

I do think we need a clear demonstration from our County Commission that 1) they are willing to be open and above-board, but 2) they don't intend to let witch-hunts and fear of being less popular rule their actions.


Open Government

That's all we ask. When actions by our Commissioners get criticised, it is most often because they either deserve it...Or they haven't allowed the citizens in on the decision making process to see how a particular decision was derived.

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