Government isn’t a monarchy

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2009

When boardroom doors illegally close in the face of the public, elected leaders are no longer acting on behalf of their constituents. They are running a monarchy.

And in the case of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, ignorance should no longer be a valid excuse. They’ve been down this road before.

In late January 2008, three of the supervisors — Mike Lazarus, S.E. “Spanky” Felter and Henry Watts — met illegally with two county department heads.

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At the time, their discussions seemed fairly innocent — they were gathering information on state aid road projects.

Though their 2008 actions were clearly wrong, it seemed OK to accept their answers of “we didn’t know.”

But that instance should have opened the eyes of the board to the Mississippi Freedom of Information Act’s open meetings laws.

Apparently the board has given the FOIA laws as much attention as they did the law governing the Economic Development Authority’s funding before voting to cease funding the group.

The continued disrespect for state law by certain board members is past the point of frightening.

Discussing the EDA funding Monday under the guise of “personnel” was illegal.

It now appears that some members of the board are willing to shut out the public while figuratively screaming, “I don’t care what you think. I’ve got power, and I’ll do what I want.”

The newest nightmare, though, may occur if local citizens are willing to let these leaders become arrogant kings.