Monday, February 15, 2010

Open meetings are 'open' for a reason

Today is a professional day at school. I found the girls snuggled up on the fold-out couch this morning watching the Smurfs.

Justine is sniffling and sneezing. Jaynee is burning up. I’ve been serving Tylenol cocktails every four to six hours.

Our Valentine’s Day started with a trip to the emergency room when Jaynee woke up with fever and a terrible backache. Had she just had the fever, the emergency room visit would not have happened, but the backache scared me.

Luckily, they did not find anything that required medication. Now, we’re just waiting it out.

I believe we’ll wait it out inside, away from the cold and wind eminent for the day. I shivered as I opened the door for the dog this morning.

Jeromy came home from work to grab a wrench. He said, “Man, it’s cold out there!”

I said, “I know. That’s why I’m in here.”

I don’t plan on even letting the dog out again today. Ok, maybe I will if I see him begging by the door. He doesn’t like to go out in the cold anymore than I do, though.


I spent a little time this morning catching up on some of my favorite blogs and adding some blogs suggested by others to my “collection.”

The FOI Oklahoma blog featured a column from Helen Barrett of the Alva Review-Courier. She questioned a statement made during an open meeting by an airport board member in a column called “What part of ‘Open’ don’t they understand?”

You can find more about it by following this link.

Well, done, Helen. She is attending meetings for Woods County residents who don’t want battle the cold to see where their money is being spent.

Sometimes public citizens crack me up. Many want our elected and appointed officials to be accountable for how they handle taxpayer dollars, yet many don’t think attending public meetings is important. They leave the work of accountability up to reporters and then complain when reporters actually report the truth.

I was speaking to my insurance agent several months ago about past articles I had written about open meetings and open records violations in Blackwell.

He said he just did not believe his fine officials were capable of such blatant negligence.

I asked him how long he had lived in Blackwell. He said more than 10 years.

I asked him how many city council members he knew. Two or three were clients of his, he said.

I asked him if he voted in the last election. No, he doesn’t vote for fear of hurting his clientele. I reminded him that his vote is private, but he said he did not want to get involved in politics. He said he trusts that other voters are informed and will make the best decisions for the city.

I asked him how many city council meetings he had attended in the last 10 years.

“None,” he bragged. “I don’t need to attend those meetings.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because I trust our elected officials,” he said.

“The ones you don’t know and didn’t vote for?” I asked.

Brilliant. How many other citizens do we know with this mentality?

Good job, Helen. Keep up the good work.

Matthew 15:10-11

10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "

Readings (four days worth!)

Matthew 15:1-20
Acts 21:1-26
Psalm 35
Exodus 32, 33

Matthew 15:21-39
Acts 21:27-40
Psalm 36
Exodus 34

Matthew 16:1-12
Acts 22
Psalm 3:1-22
Exodus 35-37

Matthew 16:13-28
Acts 23:1-11
Psalm 37:23-40
Exodus 38-40


  1. Oh boy, does this hit close to home -- er, I mean the newsroom. (Isn't that the same thing?) -- Beverly

  2. Just now starting to catch up on my reading... I really hope that guy is no longer your insurance agent!!! That's the best - or should I say worst - example of ignorance and irresponsibility. Sometimes I wish we could revoke citizenship for non-participation, but I guess that's not very democratic.