Editorial: Let the public in
Jun 07, 2018
Bend BulletinPlans to dredge Mirror Pond on the Deschutes River continue to inch forward. The city of Bend has named three councilors to a
That’s good. Less so is the current plan to apparently hold
Secret sessions like these can be legal, but being legal doesn’t necessarily mean being right. In this
While Oregon law allows small advisory groups of public officials to get together without public notice, there’s a limit on that right. The public meetings law would apply if those appointed to the
While there’s an argument that can be made for secrecy — it allows for a full and frank discussion that otherwise might not be held — secrecy carries a price tag.
The pond project is not without controversy, and if it is to be successful, it will need public support. It will, after all, require public dollars if it is to be completed, and as city officials gather information about how to come up with a share of those dollars, the public itself should be involved. The same argument applies to the Bend Park & Recreation District, also a public, tax-supported agency. The private Mirror Pond Solutions, by the way, has no objection to having the group meet in public.
The future of Mirror Pond is too important to the future of Bend to bar the public from discussions about what to do next. City and park district officials must recognize that reality and work to ensure the public’s right to attend the work group’s meetings.
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