By Kay Wilson
Not sure how much more direct I can be with our NNL readers. But, unless you have an appointment with our dear Lord himself, I would highly encourage you attend this meeting.
The Northwest University Police Department is hosting an individual, Casey Lawrence, from the Missouri State Attorney General’s office who has the title of director of Sunshine Law compliance and records management on Tuesday, July 30. The meeting is at the Northwest Hughes Fieldhouse so it will accommodate every last one of the elected officials from our county’s 84 taxing entities, plus their better half if necessary.
The July 30 meeting is actually split into two sessions with one beginning at 9 am and the second one will begin at 1:30 pm. Lawrence should understand this important law inside and out. While there haven’t been many changes to this law for several years, it will be great to hear from an expert on the intricacies of the Sunshine Law. It was noted in the prepared press release she will be “addressing the most common issues elected bodies face with the Sunshine Law.” From sitting in the gallery of many government meetings with the reporter’s notebook in hand, I can attest many of the issues which rear an ugly head are similar whether it is at a school board, city council, township board or airport authority meeting.
The Sunshine Law is meant to allow for our tax-supported government entities to create an open forum with their constituency. It is so important the sun shines into the proceedings of each of these type of government meetings so the citizenry can participate. Since I am a realist, I know many of you will never attend a meeting of your school board, county commission, library board or any other group. Yet, I hope you do care enough about their efforts that you read your NNL for the report which we have access to basically because of the Sunshine Law.
Sunshine makes living things grow. It is a great disinfectant. The light powers through darkness. Pretty important, I would say.
By having open government, elected officials are held accountant for their actions or their lack of action. The exchange that is possible through open dialogue is what sets our democracy apart from other less successful governments.
Out of space now, so let me reiterate, make plans today to come to the beautiful Hughes Fieldhouse on the Northwest Missouri State University campus Tuesday, July 30. Attendees should RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 660.562.1254.