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A responsive government
Commissions executive sessions a good call
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 Very little is known about a letter sent by a county employee via registered mail to members of the Barton County Commission. In fact, nothing would have been known had the unspecified personnel matter not been brought up at the commission meeting Monday morning by Commissioner Alicia Straub.

Granted, the content of that letter is indeed tantalizing, but it is understandable why it is and remained confidential. However, if someone felt their concern was important enough to be brought before elected officials, then it is good that the issue was raised.

Further more, Straub had every right to want to discuss the complaint. She tried once at the outset of the meeting to amend the agenda to include an executive session, an attempt that was shot down.

“It’s our obligation to address that matter,” Straub said. But, some fellow commissioners felt they needed more time to study up on the case.

“We all received the same letter,” Straub said. There were also notes about it in their meeting packets.

The issue appeared to have died until the commission reached the “Other Business” portion of the meeting. It was then that Straub revived her attempt at calling for the session.

She was finally successful. After two closed-door meetings, the commission took no action, but at least there was discourse.

This is important for a couple of reasons.

First, employees of any organization need to know that if they lodge a complaint, it will be taken seriously. 

Second, it is important for our elected officials to be responsive to those they represent.

Kudos to Straub for bringing the matter before the commission and sticking with it until it was handled.

Dale Hogg