Over at Zócalo Public Square, Rick Cole, city manager of Ventura and one of the smartest people in California local government, offers a calming counterpoint to media worries about open government. The state budget decision to suspend some parts of the open meeting law won’t lead to city council meetings in basement rathskellers and other secret nasties, he writes—or at least not to any more of them than we’d see (or not see) even when the law’s in full effect. Most reporters won’t agree, but Cole writes about the issue with more nuance and complexity than you’ll see from many journalists, who rarely acknowledge that rules governing openness in government come with tradeoffs.
What Cole doesn’t convey is the pure nuttiness behind the whole discussion. If open government has “become part of California’s civic DNA,” why must we suspend the law that guarantees what everyone says we want?Read More