State Gets An “F” For Transparency
It’s Sunshine Week, which highlights the public’s ability to access information about the government, and also some of the challenges the public still faces to more transparency. Lawyer Duane Bosworth is a public records expert at Davis Wright Tremaine who has defended journalists and fought for access to officials’ records and public meetings. He says openness is a hallmark of our democracy. While Oregon prides itself on not being corrupt and having a lot of public participation in government, Bosworth says the state could do much better.
“I would say it gets an ‘F’ in transparency. And largely that’s public records, but there are many, many mistakes made with regard to public meetings and making sure the public can attend and participate.”
Bosworth touts the virtues of having openness in government and some of its successes, including investigations into problems with the jail and school system, wrongdoing by public officials, and analysis of programs that aren’t serving the public adequately. One of the most common local issues comes in dealing with investigations that are handled on the county and state level. Information is often distributed quickly on social media for breaking stories, but sometimes takes weeks to get official notice from the Lane County Sheriff’s office or the Oregon State Police
Port To Hold Another Executive Session
An official notice of an Executive session by the Port of Siuslaw Board went out over the weekend. The board is currently looking over applications for a new Port manager. Two sessions last week began the process but neither time did the board come into open session to produce any official results. The Application process closed on March 2nd. Interim Port Manager Dina McClure will be leaving the post on Thursday for a position at Western Lane Ambulance District and Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue. If the board comes to any conclusions they could bring the meeting into open session.
Dollman Found Guilty
Former Oregon Coast Humane Society employee, Heather Dollman has been found guilty on six counts of animal neglect. The ruling came down on March 8th. KEZI reported on Thursday that Dollman was ordered by the courts to pay a $250.00 fine per each of the 6 counts and an additional $1400.00 in court costs. One of the horses that was malnourished was rehomed by the county, the other had to be euthanized due to its injuries. No other animals were taken from Dollman’s property and she is prohibited from getting any additional animals for a period of 5 years.
School Board Meeting
The Siuslaw School Board will hold a Board meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the offices at 2111 Oak Street. On the agenda is the Child Abuse Prevention Month Proclamation and the Coast Radio, 21 Means 21 Marijuana awareness campaign. They will also continue to look at facility planning and policy revisions and updates.