Editorial: P&Z has no leg to stand on without minutes

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We are fortunate to live in a country where government bodies and committees are required by law to conduct business in meetings open to the public.
That way, not only can taxpayers be aware of what business has been conducted, government can be held accountable by the public and the media.
And part and parcel of open and honest government is the recording and archiving of what happens in those meetings.
It’s not only important to record what actions were taken, it’s also the law that minutes of every meeting of every arm of government be recorded and archived — accessible to the public.
It has come to our attention that Liberty’s Planning and Zoning Commission — appointed by the City Council — has virtually no record of minutes from meetings for the past several years.
In the last two years, the minutes were recorded on a computer’s hard drive in a P&Z Committee member’s home and not archived as hard copy at City Hall. Now comes word that the hard drive crashed, possibly making those records unrecoverable.
Since January 2006, the Planning and Zoning Commission has met 36 times, according to records obtained from the city treasurer.
If a legal challenge over a past zoning matter should be mounted against the city, what “leg” would the P&Z Commission stand on?
We believe city officials should verify, on a regular basis, that minutes to every meeting are properly recorded and archived at City Hall. And that goes for every government-appointed board, committee and agency.
After all, it’s good business, honest government, and it’s the law.