Thursday, January 11, 2007

From the No-Brainer Hall of Fame

It's kinda sad, and rather Massholian, that this matter was even up for debate.

BY SHAMING selectmen who wished to hide their voting records from the people, citizens in Goffstown have succeeded in opening all the town boards' votes to public scrutiny. That a showdown was needed to get the board to record its members' votes illustrates the need for legislators to change that the state's Right to Know law to require that all votes be recorded for public inspection.

On Dec. 4, selectmen John Caprio and Nick Campasano tried to require that all selectmen's votes be recorded and made publicly available. State law requires that roll call votes be taken only when a public board votes on whether to enter a non-public session.

The other three board members rejected the proposal, leaving Goffstown residents without any records of selectmen's votes. The public outcry was swift and effective. The Goffstown Residents Association organized a petition drive, and under considerable pressure the three selectmen who had voted to hide their voting records changed their minds, voting on Monday to record all votes.

It's pretty interesting, given the subject matter at hand, that the names of the selectmen pushing for this change were made public in this article, while the other three board members were referred to simply as, well, "the other three board members".

From the Town of Goffstown website:

Board of Selectmen (elected)

John Caprio
Philip A. D'Avanza
Barbara J. Griffin
Nicholas "Nick" Campasano
Bruce F. Hunter

There, how tough was that?

UPDATE: I stand corrected.

Via 'wolfwalker' in the comments:

The corresponding news article does contain four of the five selectmen's names: the two original dissenters, and the two who brought the issue back up. Apparently the name of the fifth selectman just wasn't relevant in any way, which explains why she wasn't named.

Of course, if I were writing the editorial, or in charge of editing it down to size, I'd have been sure to get the names of the accountability-fearing selectmen right up front for all to see.