Sunday, June 26, 2005

Eleven Good-Ole-Boy Council Men Privately Put Together Their Own Budget

Here's the list of "just some good ole boys," who by means of back-room meetings and private e-mails, according to yesterday's Tennessean, have come up with their own personal budget for our city, far and away from last week's public hearing.

Joining Eric Crafton, whose surreptitious actions have been documented here and elsewhere, are the rest of the good ole boys:
  • Adam Dread [one of mine, I'm sorry to say]
  • Michael Craddock
  • Jim Forkum
  • Randy Foster
  • Jim Gotto
  • Jason Hart
  • Michael Kerstetter
  • Charlie Tygard
  • Harold White
You'll notice from the Tennessean article that, while defending their private meetings, the leaders of this boys club offer some pretty narrow definitions of "public." While some of you may think that "public" means "in front of the public," these guys think "public" means "in front of David Manning and Diane Neighbors." Also, any private discussion at a public meeting out of range of a microphone now qualifies as public, even if the public cannot hear it. Point of order: isn't a discussion among Council members who have not had their microphones activated by the Chair considered "out-of-order"? "Common sense" may not exactly be a rallying cry for this group.

I have suggestions for the good ole boys if they would like to avoid the appearance of illegal discussions in the future: they may want to consider introducing their budget alternatives in Council while their microphones are turned on so that other Council members and the public can consider and debate the merits of the alternative; also, if they have e-mail correspondence about budget matters, how about CC:'ing it to the press (and I mean the mainstream press, not Council members' lackeys in the blogosphere) so that the public can be informed on all budget discussions?

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