After most municipal elections, newly elected officials and returning incumbents are invited to a forum at Town Hall about public meeting protocol and the Freedom of Information Act.
And while it is often said that showing up is half the job, in this instance, it is the wrong half. Next year they should listen carefully, ask some questions, maybe even be required to take some notes and pass a short quiz afterward, because the lessons never seem to stick.
Instilled with a new sense of the importance of open government, these men and women go off to their meetings and close the doors to the public at every chance they get. All it takes is someone to say "we need to go into executive session" and everyone lemming-like follows along. I'm sure, or at least I hope, there are occasional challenges, but if so, they are the rare exception. Continue>>>