At least two members of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District are complaining they were not given complete information when making a critical decision on spending tax money.
Withholding reports, studies and other documentation needed in the decision-making process from elected board members is a dangerous precedent.
That's like tying both hands behind your back and then driving a car down the road and hoping a wreck does not happen, but you know it will.
Summaries may be sufficient for reports at meetings, but when decisions need to be made, all the cards need to be on the table.
Asking any board member of an organization to vote on issues where information is being withheld is asking for trouble. How can a board member make a good decision when they are getting only half or nothing of reports needed?
Even with all the information on an issue as complicated as water, it is difficult to understand and get to the bottom of the matter.
We hear complaints constantly about elected officials who may or may not understand an issue, but cast a vote anyway. Providing incomplete information or withholding reports ensures that bad decisions will be made.
A number of Pine and Strawberry residents are pursuing the issue with the necessary authorities.
Apparently several board members were told the reports were confidential and therefore not available to the whole board. That's ridiculous. Confidential? Who decides which board members get the "secret" reports?
Keeping secrets from an elected board member who has to cast a vote on a matter of public interest makes no sense.
The public record law is quite clear regarding when a document can be kept from the public. We have never heard of keeping any document from a governing board elected by the people. Boards and public officials frequently want to keep documents from the public, fearing that certain information will put them in a bad light, but never from each other.
We hope the authorities examine this blatant attempt at preventing elected officials from doing their jobs.