Opinion – Should public money be accounted for with open meetings?

Recently, a York County Supervisor suggested, that since the minutes for a meeting of his project, H T C (Historic Triangle Cooperative) are published after the fact, that must mean accountability is taken care of.

To start off, he is wrong for the most important reason. By law, he is required to know the Virginia FOIA and abide by it. All appointed and elected officials are required by law to read and understand the law within two weeks of taking office or starting work.

This is once again a grey area that is not covered in the Virginia FOIA. It does not state that all entities that receive public funding will be accountable. I believe it is implied and accepted as such, however.

I can’t think of why anyone would think that keeping an organization’s meetings closed would be good for anyone. The citizens don’t get to know what took place. They don’t know what was considered in the spending of their tax dollars. Politician and officials are looked at askance when talking about secrets and talking about tourism and spending public money.

Why not avoid all that completely and be above board?

Unless you have something to hide, it makes sense, and better yet, it’s the law to be as open and accountable as possible within the framework of the law. This isn’t a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a citizen’s issue.

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Published by

Mark Brooks

Independent Journalist/Photographer --- Retired Land Surveyor originally from Colorado. USN Veteran. Involved as a citizen and journalist in politics and open government locally and sometimes statewide. Interests: photography, music, justice and equality for everyone.

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