Monday, February 10, 2014

Lagging ‘thoughts’ on palace intrigue


We’ll lead with state open meeting law (emphasis ours):




§406. Public notice

Public notice shall be given for all public proceedings as defined in section 402, if these proceedings are a meeting of a body or agency consisting of 3 or more persons. This notice shall be given in ample time to allow public attendance and shall be disseminated in a manner reasonably calculated to notify the general public in the jurisdiction served by the body or agency concerned. In the event of an emergency meeting, local representatives of the media shall be notified of the meeting, whenever practical, the notification to include time and location, by the same or faster means used to notify the members of the agency conducting the public proceeding. [1987, c. 477, §4 (AMD).]

The more we stew on this story, the more twitchy our olfactories become.

The reasons are simple, many, and varied.

1)  Why on earth would a local newspaper take more than a week to report on this?

2)  Why would so many references to unnamed and unidentified by position ‘participants’ appear in an article that calls into play state open meeting laws?  Doesn’t journalistic practice require naming the individuals in ‘reporting’ like this?  Does credibility matter?  Could the House of Sartoris be one of the unnamed participants?

3)  If a meeting set up by an official that does not violate said laws is joined by others, without having been invited by the meeting convener, does the meeting instantly change from not violating to violating §406?

4)  That last point begs the issue of who notified the unnamed ‘participants’ and Favreau that such a meeting was taking place, and that it might be a good time for Favreau to ‘stumble’ into things?

5)  The meeting was reportedly scheduled for 3pm, and Watson says Favreau notified him at 2pm, meaning Favreau knew about it at least an hour in advance.  Since Favreau reportedly still holds a full time job, shouldn’t he be checking his mail, say at noon-time, or after finishing his day?  Or does he leave his desk and check  his mail before 2pm every day?

6)  The meeting, we assume, began at 3pm, the scheduled time reported.  Yet Favreau ‘stumbled upon’ the meeting early enough to notify Watson at 2pm.  So which is it?  Did the meeting not occur at 3pm?  Was it not scheduled for 3pm?  Or does Favreau’s quoted stumbling upon it mean something entirely different?  Could we please have just the facts?


7)  Has Watson ever held “a closed-door meeting on things that are vital to his district?”  Or met privately with anyone on such a subject?  And how about Favreau, and the other unnamed participants?  How about any other councilor?


8)  Could the ascension of Pols to Council Chair and the ‘separation agreement’ with Mr. Manager have created internal tensions that might have sparked this ‘story?’  Could tonight’s executive session on the separation details have added fuel to the spark?


Frankly, Shirley, and you too Chance, this story is making us a little …..well, you get the idea.

So please, discuss among yourselves.  See if you can solve the puzzle while maintaining your composure.


No comments:

Post a Comment