OTHER VIEW: More work ahead on openness in South DakotaWe are disappointed that the panel could not agree on requiring government boards and commissions to record closed meetings.
By: Editorial board, Rapid City Journal
A state task force created to find ways to make South Dakota government more open concluded its recent work with some recommendations that will be forwarded to the governor and attorney general.
Any recommendations from the 33-member panel of representatives of news organizations, state officials, law enforcement officials, prosecutors and local government officials that makes government more open to the public are welcome. Among those recommendations are proposals to make more government documents available to the public and make public police mug shots of accused criminals.
We are disappointed that the panel could not agree on requiring government boards and commissions to record closed meetings. Under the proposal, the recordings of closed meetings would have been sealed unless someone complained that the meeting was closed illegally. A judge would then review the record to determine if the meeting met the requirements of state law. Under state law, meetings of state and local boards and commissions must be open to the public and can be closed to the public only for specific reasons.
Minutes of meetings are kept for public meetings but are not kept during closed sessions. We believe the requirement for recording closed meetings and sealing them for possible later review would have kept the discussions during closed-door sessions from straying into matters that should be discussed before the public.
We are pleased that Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Attorney General Marty Jackley created the Open Government Task Force and hope that this is not the last time the task force meets. There is still more work that needs to be done to make South Dakota government open to the people.More from around the web