Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

September 9, 2012

Keeping the public informed

— Folks who wanted to be on hand for the final vote on a proposed incentive for a new five-screen movie theater might have missed their chance.

Logansport City Council members had tried to take a final vote at the same meeting where they gave the matter its initial approval, but supporters of the move lacked the votes for the required suspension of the rules.

During that meeting, Mayor Ted Franklin had indicated he would call another meeting for the following Friday, but in a discussion after the meeting, council members noted that they already had a meeting scheduled for the next day. Why not take the vote then, someone suggested.

So they did.

The result was predictable. The measure passed by the same 4-3 vote it had attracted the first time around.

So why does it matter when the council voted? In a lot of ways, it probably doesn’t. Council members had already made up their minds how they were going to vote, so any last-minute pleas by opponents of the move likely wouldn’t have changed the final result.

Still, it was the principle of the thing. Shouldn’t council members have made sure members of the public knew when the vote would be so that they could show up and make their feelings heard?

I think they should have. In a contentious issue such as this, public officials should bend over backward to make sure everyone has an adequate chance to be heard.

Panelists at last week’s public access seminar agreed.

“They’ll probably catch some heat over that,” said Steve Key, executive director and general counsel of the Hoosier State Press Association.

He and other panelists agreed, though, that the council had done nothing illegal. There is no requirement that governmental bodies even have an agenda, they said, and there’s also nothing to keep those bodies from changing the agenda right up to the time of the meeting.

“So as long as they gave proper notice of the meeting, they’re OK,” Key said.

That’s not the situation in every state. In Texas, for example, governmental bodies have to post an agenda 48 hours in advance, and they can’t change the  agenda without that same amount of notice.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WILLIAMS: America still the dream Is America really in as bad as shape like many people say it is? I’m 67 and when I look around, I don’t see it.Everything isn’t great but believe it or not, there has never been a time when everything was great, not even in those innocent Fifties we

    July 31, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Every town that has any sort of waterway -- whether it be a river or a creek or just a stream -- knows it will be used as a trash can. And oftentimes, tires are a favorite trash to be tossed into the waterways. Many organizations and concerned citize

    July 31, 2014

  • WERNER: The mystery of the Indian grave at Dykeman Last summer I contacted Thelma Conrad, executive director of the Cass County Historical Society, to ask her if she had any information on the Indian grave at Dykeman Park. Thelma had heard of it but had never seen the small marker that tells of the I

    July 31, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Data confirms our obsession with sports Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 30, 2014

  • RAMPBELL: Keeping the sick at home Something strange happened here this week: Lots of workers who’ve never done so before got the right to call in sick. And that’s a good thing.The Big Apple, you see, is joining a handful of other trailblazing cities such as Washington, San Francisco

    July 30, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Patacsil was no ordinary Joe Somebody forgot to tell Joe Patacsil that if he wanted to wrestle at a Big Ten university with black and gold as its school colors ... well, most people who know anything about college wrestling today might have said he picked the wrong one -- Purdue

    July 30, 2014

  • MARCUS: The higher education funding mess Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 29, 2014

  • PUBLIC FORUM: Are businesses missing out on interns? Are businesses missingout on interns?Admittedly we’re a little biased, but the Indiana INTERNnet and Indiana Chamber teams believe your company is not operating at full capacity if you aren’t hosting an internship program. Missing out on increased pr

    July 29, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: The state of the reunion “Katy! It’s been so long! How’ve you been?”My God, she’s gained so much weight I didn’t recognize her. It’s a good thing we’re all wearing nametags. I thought it was some distant cousin past due with triplets.“Bob! Long time, no see.”No hair, either.

    July 29, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Indiana's right-to-work law unnecessary It has been a crime for Indiana employers to enter into labor contracts that require workers to pay union dues since Feb. 1, 2012 — the day then-Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation making the Hoosier State a “right-to-work” state.Whether Indiana ke

    July 29, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the U.S. impose a travel ban on three West African nations in response to a growing Ebola virus outbreak?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.