Douglas board should have heard details of casino meeting
August 28, 2007
Correcting the minutes of a public meeting should be a simple matter. So why wasn’t that true, when it came to omissions concerning the proposed Beverly Hillbillies Mansion & Casino?
Many of the issues concerning the casino, which could turn into serious problems for Douglas County residents in the future, were not forwarded to Douglas County’s Board of Commissioners before they narrowly approved the project by a 3-2 vote in early August.
Yet Douglas County Clerk Barbara Griffin staunchly defended the minutes as they stand, saying she was instructed by Doug Johnson, chairman of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners, to abbreviate them so they would be easier to digest.
There’s no doubt that exhaustive testimony concerning something as complex as the Beverly Hillbillies project can be cumbersome, but that was never the real issue.
Accuracy, not brevity, is the issue. We doubt that any board commissioner would object to knowing all the facts before making a decision unless he had some ulterior motive, but Johnson was one of the two commissioners voting against the project. It’s a very safe bet he wouldn’t want to omit arguments supporting his own vote.
Lack of a complete debate by county commissioners before the vote could open the doors to litigation by anyone opposing the project in the future, so what’s the problem?
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Democracy needs an informed populace and thrives on full disclosure. If major points were left out of a report to county commissioners, from a body whose function it is to provide that information, those points need to be made clear.
Fix the minutes, forward the information to commissioners before the proposal is reviewed by the Douglas County commissioners in October, and move on.
This editorial appeared in
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