Sunday, March 22, 2015
If You Can't Stand The Heat
Anytime you pack a room with town officials, board and committee members -- appointed or elected -- you're bound to have a few grumps.
So I didn't really mind so much the venom spewed towards the media by Shelburne Board of Selectmen Chair John Payne -- it was more the ovation he received from the rest of the crowd.
Although I did notice Stan Rosenberg, who organized the Hampshire & Franklin Municipal Conference, calling his speech finale, "fighting words."
What the Attorney General needs to do is put more teeth into the Open Meeting Law. Make an example of offenders who knowingly violate the law, not by fining the committee or board $1,000 so the taxpayers get stuck paying it.
Fine every individual member of the board $1,000 that must be paid out of their own pocket. Then you will see a dramatic improvement in compliance. If that doesn't do it, then try a jail sentence.
Making the job of the media a little easier via a strong Open Meeting Law only brings better enlightenment to the multitudes of citizens who rely on the media for vital information about their local government.
If you can't deal with transparency then don't volunteer or run for public office.