Bettter to ask public’s permission | RecordCourier.com

Bettter to ask public’s permission

The Record-Courier Editorial Board

Apparently the Nevada Attorney General’s open meeting law enforcement could be summed up by the phrase “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

We can’t help but wonder what our society would look like if we allowed offenders to “cure” their crimes by doing something over.

But that’s what appears to entail enforcement of the Nevada Open Meeting law in Nevada.

Willfully violating the open meeting law is a misdemeanor. We didn’t expect someone to be cited as a result of the newspaper’s complaint against the school board for the handling of documents related to the superintendent’s evaluation. But we did expect the agency responsible for enforcing the law to give both the people and those working on their behalf an idea of where the foul line is.

We contend that a panel formed to conduct the public’s business should be subject to the open meeting law.

The backdoor through which a chairman or manager picks a few people to conduct public business in private needs to be slammed shut.

The Nevada Legislature enacted the open meeting law so that those serving on local boards can be held accountable by the people who elected them. Following and enforcing it should be a celebration of free and open government, not a chore grudgingly complied with because someone might complain.