Didn't notice that lesson your neighbor learned, did you?

From the Meade County Times (Read it all here):

Portions of a Dec. 12 Sturgis City Council meeting may be open to the public, according to Mayor Mark Zeigler. Initially, Zeigler set the Monday gathering as an “executive work session,” meaning it would be closed to the public and the press.

The 6 p.m. special meeting is scheduled, upstairs, at city hall. Zeigler did not say just what the meeting topics would be.

However, after the Black Hills Press told Zeigler that the newspaper asked the South Dakota Attorney General’s office for an opinion, the mayor said that parts of the meeting might be open to the public.
This comes literally on the heels of Sturgis' neighbor, the Lead City Commission getting spanked by the Open Meetings Commission. Isn't anyone learning from these lessons?

It's kind of an interesting phenomena. The closer that the level of government is to the people, (i.e., local, versus state level) it seems that they are that much worse about letting the people they represent have a say. I've heard of more than one instance where a local taxpayer has gone in to question what is being done, and they've been answered with profanity.

I think that in many instances of this nature, people who get into positions of electoral authority might have let it go to their head. It's not that they are bad or diabolical. To the contrary. They are usually very good people.

But they take the fact that they've been chosen to lead as carte blanche to do what they will. They forget about those who gave them their authority. They don't take a simple 'gut check' and ask "Am I still responding to the will of the people?"

It was Thomas Jefferson who said "Governments (derive) their just powers from the consent of the governed." When some of our local governing entities are getting a little big for their britches, they should be reminded of those words. It's good advice.


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