Opinion: Tougher penalties needed to ensure open government

Prompted by the recent case of a school board’s closed-door meeting, William B. Ketter, editor-in-chief of Eagle-Tribune newspapers, writes in support of MNPA bills to toughen the enforcement provisions of the state’s open meeting laws. An excert:

“The right to publish stories about the performance of school officials is meaningless if you don’t also have the right to gather news about their deficiencies and accomplishments — even when a principal or superintendent objects on privacy grounds.

“Yet school boards routinely take up competency reviews away from the public eye, invoking an exemption in the state Open Meeting Law that allows closed-door discussion of an individual’s reputation or character. Challenges to this ruse usually go nowhere.”

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