The South Whidbey School Board erred in closing a meeting that should have been open to the public. The board did not follow the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 of the Revised Code of Washington, which requires that actions of public agencies be taken openly and . . . their deliberations be conducted openly . . . so that the people may maintain control over the instruments they have created.It is simple enough for a public agency to take action openly. That simply means the board members must vote in public. It's the other part of the act that puts elected officials to the test, that their deliberations be conducted openly.Obviously, that requirement was too much for the majority of the school board, which spent 3 1/2 hours in secret executive session to discuss the four-period day at the high school. The debate must have been illuminating and wide-ranging, but the public will never know what insights were offered by which board member. This is not how it's supposed to work.Rather than closing the doors, the school board should have opened them widely and held a robust debate on the four-period day. Board members erroneously think they must show public unanimity on all the issues. That's why few people attend their regular meetings, where the board often sits like five bobblehead dolls constantly nodding their agreement.The public's business must be done in public, not behind closed doors or even by telephone, e-mail or fax. That includes full discussion of the issues important to the people who elect the office holders.It's not only the right thing to do, it's the law.PSE should share our painThe Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission should show some backbone for a change and not grant an 18 percent emergency rate increase to Puget Sound Energy in November.After saying all year long that PSE wouldn't need a rate increase, the company is now begging for one. And this is on top of the previously widely-publicized fact that PSE can't raise rates until 2002 because of an agreement it made with the WUTC when it gobbled up a large natural gas company.PSE blames its financial plight on the federal government, which earlier this year stopped suppliers from gouging large customers. Now, PSE can only charge California utilities reasonable prices for electricity. Hence the financial emergency.However, PSE should be able to live within its means for the next few months, even if it has to eat some losses. The company can now feel the pain its customers will go through this winter when the new peak period surcharges go into effect. It will cost much more for senior citizens and daycare centers to warm their buildings during the daytime, for example. If they're hurting because of the energy crisis, it's only right that PSE feel some pain as well. For a company that paid its CEO $1.4 million last year, it deserves some pain. " "/> The South Whidbey School Board erred in closing a meeting that should have been open to the public. The board did not follow the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 of the Revised Code of Washington, which requires that actions of public agencies be taken openly and . . . their deliberations be conducted openly . . . so that the people may maintain control over the instruments they have created.It is simple enough for a public agency to take action openly. That simply means the board members must vote in public. It's the other part of the act that puts elected officials to the test, that their deliberations be conducted openly.Obviously, that requirement was too much for the majority of the school board, which spent 3 1/2 hours in secret executive session to discuss the four-period day at the high school. The debate must have been illuminating and wide-ranging, but the public will never know what insights were offered by which board member. This is not how it's supposed to work.Rather than closing the doors, the school board should have opened them widely and held a robust debate on the four-period day. Board members erroneously think they must show public unanimity on all the issues. That's why few people attend their regular meetings, where the board often sits like five bobblehead dolls constantly nodding their agreement.The public's business must be done in public, not behind closed doors or even by telephone, e-mail or fax. That includes full discussion of the issues important to the people who elect the office holders.It's not only the right thing to do, it's the law.PSE should share our painThe Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission should show some backbone for a change and not grant an 18 percent emergency rate increase to Puget Sound Energy in November.After saying all year long that PSE wouldn't need a rate increase, the company is now begging for one. And this is on top of the previously widely-publicized fact that PSE can't raise rates until 2002 because of an agreement it made with the WUTC when it gobbled up a large natural gas company.PSE blames its financial plight on the federal government, which earlier this year stopped suppliers from gouging large customers. Now, PSE can only charge California utilities reasonable prices for electricity. Hence the financial emergency.However, PSE should be able to live within its means for the next few months, even if it has to eat some losses. The company can now feel the pain its customers will go through this winter when the new peak period surcharges go into effect. It will cost much more for senior citizens and daycare centers to warm their buildings during the daytime, for example. If they're hurting because of the energy crisis, it's only right that PSE feel some pain as well. For a company that paid its CEO $1.4 million last year, it deserves some pain. ""Follow the law, hold open debates>The South Whidbey School Board erred in closing a meeting that should have been open to the public. The board did not follow the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 of the Revised Code of Washington, which requires that actions of public agencies be taken openly and . . . their deliberations be conducted openly . . . so that the people may maintain control over the instruments they have created.It is simple enough for a public agency to take action openly. That simply means the board members must vote in public. It's the other part of the act that puts elected officials to the test, that their deliberations be conducted openly.Obviously, that requirement was too much for the majority of the school board, which spent 3 1/2 hours in secret executive session to discuss the four-period day at the high school. The debate must have been illuminating and wide-ranging, but the public will never know what insights were offered by which board member. This is not how it's supposed to work.Rather than closing the doors, the school board should have opened them widely and held a robust debate on the four-period day. Board members erroneously think they must show public unanimity on all the issues. That's why few people attend their regular meetings, where the board often sits like five bobblehead dolls constantly nodding their agreement.The public's business must be done in public, not behind closed doors or even by telephone, e-mail or fax. That includes full discussion of the issues important to the people who elect the office holders.It's not only the right thing to do, it's the law.PSE should share our painThe Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission should show some backbone for a change and not grant an 18 percent emergency rate increase to Puget Sound Energy in November.After saying all year long that PSE wouldn't need a rate increase, the company is now begging for one. And this is on top of the previously widely-publicized fact that PSE can't raise rates until 2002 because of an agreement it made with the WUTC when it gobbled up a large natural gas company.PSE blames its financial plight on the federal government, which earlier this year stopped suppliers from gouging large customers. Now, PSE can only charge California utilities reasonable prices for electricity. Hence the financial emergency.However, PSE should be able to live within its means for the next few months, even if it has to eat some losses. The company can now feel the pain its customers will go through this winter when the new peak period surcharges go into effect. It will cost much more for senior citizens and daycare centers to warm their buildings during the daytime, for example. If they're hurting because of the energy crisis, it's only right that PSE feel some pain as well. For a company that paid its CEO $1.4 million last year, it deserves some pain. " "/> Editorials - South Whidbey Record
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Editorials

"Follow the law, hold open debates>The South Whidbey School Board erred in closing a meeting that should have been open to the public. The board did not follow the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 of the Revised Code of Washington, which requires that actions of public agencies be taken openly and . . . their deliberations be conducted openly . . . so that the people may maintain control over the instruments they have created.It is simple enough for a public agency to take action openly. That simply means the board members must vote in public. It's the other part of the act that puts elected officials to the test, that their deliberations be conducted openly.Obviously, that requirement was too much for the majority of the school board, which spent 3 1/2 hours in secret executive session to discuss the four-period day at the high school. The debate must have been illuminating and wide-ranging, but the public will never know what insights were offered by which board member. This is not how it's supposed to work.Rather than closing the doors, the school board should have opened them widely and held a robust debate on the four-period day. Board members erroneously think they must show public unanimity on all the issues. That's why few people attend their regular meetings, where the board often sits like five bobblehead dolls constantly nodding their agreement.The public's business must be done in public, not behind closed doors or even by telephone, e-mail or fax. That includes full discussion of the issues important to the people who elect the office holders.It's not only the right thing to do, it's the law.PSE should share our painThe Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission should show some backbone for a change and not grant an 18 percent emergency rate increase to Puget Sound Energy in November.After saying all year long that PSE wouldn't need a rate increase, the company is now begging for one. And this is on top of the previously widely-publicized fact that PSE can't raise rates until 2002 because of an agreement it made with the WUTC when it gobbled up a large natural gas company.PSE blames its financial plight on the federal government, which earlier this year stopped suppliers from gouging large customers. Now, PSE can only charge California utilities reasonable prices for electricity. Hence the financial emergency.However, PSE should be able to live within its means for the next few months, even if it has to eat some losses. The company can now feel the pain its customers will go through this winter when the new peak period surcharges go into effect. It will cost much more for senior citizens and daycare centers to warm their buildings during the daytime, for example. If they're hurting because of the energy crisis, it's only right that PSE feel some pain as well. For a company that paid its CEO $1.4 million last year, it deserves some pain. "

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