The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

April 27, 2014

In praise of sunshine

— As a news gathering agency we are entrusted with supporting the state’s open meetings, or “sunshine law.”

It is our job to question closed meetings and records and board members doing business out of regular sessions. We believe government works best with public oversight. We believe that all steps that boards make in the decision-making process that involves the expenditure of public monies should be open to the public.

So imagine our surprise and delight when three members of a local governing body stepped up last month and took measures to make more of their inner workings public record.

We applaud Limestone County Water and Sewer Authority board members Ty Smith’s and Johnny Hatchett’s successful motions to include billing statements from all vendors as part of the monthly meetings packet released to the media and public.

Further, we would salute board Chairman Jim Moffatt for voicing his support to the measure. Mr. Moffatt was named the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in recent days. His support of making vendor billing records part of the public record is but one way in which he shows his good citizenship.

It has been our observance that too often board members serve for the prestige it lends their names. After all, these are not high-paying jobs. Some members — not all — are too often what one might call “rubber stamp” members. They approve whatever recommendations that come before them from management and do not study the ramifications of the measure upon which they are voting.

When we see board members such as Mr. Smith, Mr. Hatchett and Mr. Moffatt and the board members who voted to make this open records measure public policy, it is not only a ray of sunshine, it is a breath of fresh air.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee