March 24, 2010

Education task force meets in secret

What are they hiding?

Gov. Jim Gibbons declared this week that Nevada’s future education policy will emerge from a blue ribbon task force he created by executive order.

Despite its potential bearing on key public policy, that task force’s first meeting, scheduled for [last Friday], and possibly its future meetings, will be held behind closed doors.

George Taylor, a senior deputy attorney general, argues that because the Governor is not subject to open meeting laws, any panel he creates is also not subject to them.

While this may be correct according to the letter of the law, it clearly violates the spirit of the law and good government practices. The statutes dealing with open meetings state "... all public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly."

The task force should open up future meetings. If it is suppose to be fixing public education, shouldn't the public be able to see what it's doing?