According to Thisweek, the Dakota County Commissioners have a lot of negative things to say about the Met Council and how they conduct business. While what the Dakota County Commissioners say might be true, I have a bigger problem with that group of elected officials than I do with the appointed ones who sit on the Met Council.
Thisweek provides this bit of insight into the Commissioners complaints (emphasis mine):
“As a former member of the Met Council, we were actually indoctrinated in … who is our stakeholder. The first stakeholder is the governor. The second stakeholder is the Legislature,” Egan said, adding that accountability to the people ranks dead last.
Now, that’s an interesting argument coming from one of the members of a group which again closed their legislative meetings to public view (more on this from back in March of 2009) in a manner which is borderline criminal. Now, this isn’t to say that Board Chair Tom Egan did not fight to keep those meetings open, in fact, he was one of the three that argued that the public should be permitted to see the goings on. Unfortunately, guilt by association rules and if he really had that strong of an opinion against it, he would have done more than offer lukewarm words of disappointment. Perhaps he would have gone the extra mile and called for the resignations of Joe Harris, Paul Krause and Liz Workman being that they are ranking the accountability to the people dead last…
Now, from what I have seen, the Met Council is by no means perfect but at least they were appointed by someone else and not placed into office by the public. I would think that those who were elected should be held to a much higher standard–am I right? Well, I have a real problem with elected official Liz Workman’s comments that she favors closed meetings because if they were open she would not be able to “rip” on legislation or legislators nor would she feel like she could speak freely when the super scary press or an interested member of the public was watching. If the Dakota County Commissioners would operate by looking at their actions as if they were impacting everyone, say via a general law–maybe at the State level in this case–then perhaps they would have a different view of how to proceed. But that would make too much sense, you know, looking at the larger picture. After all, the importance of being able to feel the ability to openly rip the governor or a legislator is far more important than being accountable to the public who elected you into office in the first place, right Liz?
Now, to be fair, Liz Workman was not quoted in the Thisweek article regarding the Met Council but fellow detractors Joe Harris and Paul Krause were and they were happy to offer their dislike of the entire Met Council affair. These three are disgusting and the members of District 6 (Lakeville) should think twice about letting Krause run unopposed again in 2010. Why don’t we have term limits again, can someone please explain that one to me?
So what do you think about the Dakota County Commissioners’ comments regarding the Met Council? Hypocritical or fair? Do you think that the actions of the Dakota County Commissioners to circumvent the open meeting law is acceptable or do you believe that Joe Harris, Paul Krause and Liz Workman should have to step down for publicly admitting their attempts to hide information from the public? Whatever you think about the despicable/hypocritical actions of the Dakota County Commissioners, go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.