MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Editorials

June 18, 2013

Transparency vital part of freedom

— Government must be transparent at all levels, from the White House to the board of trustees in Boynton.

Boynton trustees recently convened an executive session to discuss an “internal investigation on outstanding invoices.”

Sitting as the Boynton Public Works Authority, trustees also voted to convene an executive session to “discuss internal investigation into water bills and invoices.”

Boynton trustees did not cite the legal authority that allows closed-door discussions.

The agenda failed to state specifically the provisions of the Open Meeting Act authorizing the executive sessions.

Joey Senat, an associate professor at Oklahoma State University’s School of Media and Strategic Communications, said failing to identify the correct citation “means the executive session was not permissible.”

It may seem as if we harp on small towns when it comes to complying with the letter of the law of the Open Meeting and Open Records acts.

It is because transparency in government is the only way to ensure citizens remain free in a free country.

When government fails to follow its laws, that’s when citizens should worry about what else is going on behind closed doors.

The United States has the best form of government in the world.

It needs all elected officials to act in a way that ensures that form survives.

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