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Friday, May 6, 2016

Hey Public Officials -- What Part of "Public" Don't You Understand?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Excuse me while I drag my soap box out from underneath my desk.

To all public officials in Calico Rock and Fulton County -- specifically the members of the Calico Rock City Council and the Fulton County Quorum Court -- I have a very simple question: What part of the word "public" is a mystery to you?

Webster's Dictionary defines Public as: "Exposed to general view: open," and "Accessible to, or shared by, all members of the community."

Gee, sounds like "public" means out in the open, don't you think? Meaning, that Public officials are just that -- out in the open.

You can't get much more out in the open than by allowing your meetings to be videotaped, so all of the community can access or share your opinions, on the important topics brought up in Quorum Court and by city council.

Ah, sounds rational doesn't it? But apparently, the city council members of Calico Rock and the Quorum Court members of Fulton County have decided to throw out the dictionary and re-define public as, "only if you see us in person."

That is, they are more than willing to share their opinions in their meetings, which are -- at least for the moment -- open to the public, but there will be no "instant replay" if you like, of anything they say or do via videotaping.

Oh, you can record via audio everything they say, and quote them verbatim in the paper and on the radio -- just don't show them actually doing or saying it.

Guess they're camera shy. Perhaps they feel they need hair and make-up before allowing a video camera in the room? Somehow, I don't think that kind of expense is in either of their budgets.

So come on, public officials -- you chose to run for Public office. You chose to accept Public office once elected. It's time to allow the community, your Public, to see as well as hear, what you have to say, what you choose to do and how you choose to say and do it.

Using the excuse that cameras make you uncomfortable is balderdash. Unless of course, you're doing or saying something you regret. Then, it's just plain cowardly.

Stand up for your opinions and your choices -- allow videotaping of your meetings and keep public meetings fully Public.