Tuesday, December 25, 2007

You can be "Legal" and still be wrong

The protest filed by KSFR News over a closed-door, media-barred meeting of a Santa Fe County Commissioner is about to result in a decision. The commissioner told KSFR he will decide after Christmas whether to open up his second meeting.

In our view, the huge public issue of oil drilling in the county is too big of a deal to deliberate in secret.

The commissioner agreed to come on-air after our email to him and his fellow commissioners, decrying the secrecy of his meeting of opponents of drilling, lawyers from the oil development company, and a state official. Unbelieveably, the commissioner said, on air, that people are more likely to be frank when not facing the glare of the press or the public. Really?

Two of the four opponent groups at that meeting have now told KSFR the first meeting should have been open and any future meeting must be. Another individual opponent to drilling told the Santa Fe New Mexican today the way the commissioner's meeting was handled was a "public relations blunder" on the commissioner's part.

The commissioner avoided the open meetings law by insuring a quorum of commissioners were not on hand. He was legal. But was he right?

His next meeting is December 28. Will it be open? Or closed?

Check KSFR's news reports and podcasts on that subject here.

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