Thursday, February 26, 2015

Videotape of public meetings, whose call is it?

There are two ways of looking at the truth about the wielding of public power and the spending of public resources;

  • the one, and the prevailing thought, is that the truth belongs to politicians and public servants and 
  • the other is that the truth belongs to the people whose power it is and whose resources they fundamentally are.
They are reflected in the manner in which that truth is told.

If the truth belongs to pols and public servants, they will share that part of the truth that makes them look good; character and competence enough to be worthy of the public trust.  Any truth which might embarrass, shame or indict them will not be told unless it is absolutely required by law.

If the truth belongs to the people then it is up to the people to decide what kinds of truth should or should not be recorded and published.

The very worst thing any politician or public servant can do, is anything they do in unnecessary secrecy from the people whose power and resources they spend.

Apparently, the City Attorney is going to let the people know what it is that "the city" is willing to put up with.  It will be up to the city to "interpret" the Open Meetings Act whose language is more than specific enough; a reasonable accommodation will be made for audio and video recording of meetings.  There isn't enough legal weaselry to be bought (with our tax dollars) to make no accommodation look like reasonable accommodation.

Where will be the hearing on whether it should be up to a City Attorney to decide if we can record our public meetings?  When will be the hearing on whether the people can freely exercise or not, their right to take personal notes with a recording device instead of a pencil?  Perhaps we should count ourselves lucky they "allow us" to use only quill and parchment.

Kudos to KOB Eyewitness News 4's photojournalist Paul Sigurdson who stood his ground and made the cowards run away, link.

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