JLF Western N.C. Blog

When Transparency Becomes Obfuscation

The City of Asheville used to excel in transparency. Around 3:00pm on the Friday before each formal meeting of city council, about 200 pages of staff reports would be posted online. Since the new council has been inaugurated, the staff reports have totaled well over 400 pages. This week, there are almost 600 pages to read.

I therefore ask, can members of council, with their fulltime demanding jobs, quality family time, membership on boards and commissions, community involvement and voluntarism, etc. do due diligence on that much material over the weekend? If so, how many nights can they go without sleep, and how many i-pods can they operate while riding their bicycles between appointments? Lastly, is it safe to assume if I don’t get around to reading the material and elected officials don’t, either, council should approve any oversights and typoes to show how well they get along?

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