Our View: Sunshine deprivation syndrome

Mr. Terrell was, until last week, chairman of the Walton County Planning Commission. He abruptly gave up the top job amid criticism over a meeting gone awry and an apparent attempt to evade Florida’s open-government, or sunshine, law.

Here’s what happened. When an April 29 Planning Commission meeting got out of hand, Mr. Terrell reportedly invited board members into a back room for a private talk. Three of the six planning commissioners were in attendance. Two reportedly followed Terrell into the back room. The third was Suzanne Harris, an open-government activist, who immediately cried foul.

Under the law, planning commissioners aren’t supposed to discuss public business in private. County Attorney Mark Davis said later that he acted swiftly. “I rushed back there,” he said. “They didn’t have time to have any conversation. They told me the only thing that happened was the chairman yelled at them.” Continue>>>