All open meetings

Written by Baker City Herald Editorial Board August 07, 2013 08:50 am

We understand that Baker City Council members and the county commissioners have been busy this past week, but their duties as elected officials during the crypto outbreak don’t exempt them from Oregon’s public meetings law.

We were disappointed to learn that a quorum of both bodies convened last week without giving the legally required public notification.

City Manager Mike Kee told us the mistake won’t happen again, and we believe him.

He also pointed out that the purpose of the meeting was not for officials to make decisions, but rather to get information.

We believe that, too, but the state law makes no such distinctions, as of course it should not. After all, if elected officials could meet in private, unpublicized venues except when they make decisions, they could do all the important business, all the haggling that goes into making a decision, outside the public’s purview.

Other than violating the public meetings law, officials, both elected and administrative, have mainly done a good job during this crisis. Although they could make better use of websites and social media.

Residents will get a chance to hear from the City Council on Thursday evening, eight days after the city announced the crypto outbreak.

That meeting, fortunately, was announced four days in advance.