Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Quote of the Day

Troutdale City Councilor Robert Canfield -- noting a Medford Mail Tribune article asking if the Medford City Council was violating the state's open meeting laws -- claims that the Troutdale council tries to follow the letter of the law. But, he notes, it hasn't always been that way (emphasis mine, because it made me laugh):
I've heard that once upon a time, previous Troutdale city council members did indeed decide issues prior to public meetings. There were many 7-0 votes. Some people say that 7-0 votes are a sign of a smoothly running city council. Consensus and all the huggy feely sentiments that go with that kind of thinking are, with all due respect to you consensus fans, a load of crap. A consistent pattern of unanimous votes is evidence that decisions are being made prior to a public meeting.
As someone who sometimes worked as a reporter covering small city councils, I can say that it's easy for them to violate such "Sunshine" laws if they want, because there's really not too much oversight by citizens or the Fourth Estate. I also believe most small-town councils want to follow the law and don't have enough power to tempt them to do otherwise, but for those few ne'er-do-wells, the law (and the oversight) is important.

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2 Comments:

  • At 12/24/2006 12:53 AM, Blogger terrance said…

    Merry Christmas, Ken! Followers of the Prince of Peace have much to rejoice over. Blessings on you and your family in the coming year.

     
  • At 12/24/2006 2:09 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Thank you, T.D. -- the same to you and yours!

     

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