T-N: Conduct public affairs openly

Possible solution to the dilemma of elected officials meeting privately, either amongst themselves or with private groups (and yes, we have seen this in Flat Rock) — record *all* meetings and make the audio available to the public after the meeting.

“. . .Leaders get around this requirement by having a few select members get together behind closed doors. Or they may call other elected officials on the telephone and work out informal agreements ahead of official meetings where the press and the public are present.

This kind of backroom dealing has been going on for years and is not illegal, although it violates the spirit of open meeting laws. Now, though, there’s a new twist: elected leaders planning to meet privately with a select group of residents. . .”

8 thoughts on “T-N: Conduct public affairs openly

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  1. “Meet privately with a select group of residents”? It sounds like a typical politician’s end run around the wishes of 85% of the local residents. How about an open public vote that includes residents within a mile in a direction, of the N. Highland Lakes Road? Residential I.D. like a valid NC driver’s license or property tax statement required.

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  2. What?? Meeting privately? Possibly making deals behind the scenes? Do these people have any integrity? I’m appalled and tired of actions of current elected officials!

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  3. Some folks on village council need their hearing tested because they haven’t heard their constituents say “STOP” the absurd changes.

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  4. Sounds like the majority in Flat Rock may have to play hard ball here, and retain an attorney to look at our options. No hard evidence but think some of these advocates for the “widening”could have vested interests in these changes possibly monetary.

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  5. To the Editor of Times-News :

    We are in agreement. This is no way to build trust and confidence. Having been involved for some time opposing the No Highland Lake Rd project in Flat Rock, I have seen this play out up close.
    The Village government has been sworn in to represent the citizens of Flat Rock. But the council member in charge of “transportation”, in this case, Mr. Dockendorf, attends as many or more meetings at the county level (TAC), the regional level (MPO) and the state level with NCDOT than he does in the Village Hall!
    This is not necessarily his fault. I believe the process is corrupted. His predecessor, Mr. Farr, apparently conducted his Flat Rock Councilman duties similarly. That is how the No Highland Lake Rd project as well as the Little River Rd project (recently pulled) got on the NCDOT “to do” list.
    A reasonable man or woman would assume that the Village Council would debate and decide a position on a transportation issue. They would then send their representative to the TAC, MPO or NCDOT to represent their position, to make their case. But it appears that the Village Representative is not a representative at all, but rather a “Lone Wolf” who makes his own allegiances and strikes his own deals, makes trades of “points” with municipalities far and wide. He then returns home to fill in the Council on what transportation projects he has gotten us!

    No wonder the public is shocked when the first we hear of the use of eminent domain to create a 10-foot wide blacktop multi-use path is AFTER it is funded!
    Flat Rock needs a new council. One that will survey the citizens, and clean up the “process”.

    Victor Behoriam, Flat Rock

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