Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Yankton commissioner seeks to open governing process

Nathan Johnson, a former journalist now a Yankton City Commissioner, wants more transparency in government.
In this state, governing bodies have the right to meet in executive sessions — or, as they could more accurately be called, closed meetings — to discuss personnel, contractual or legal matters, among other things. At its heart, this kind of governmental time-out is really a leap of faith on the part of the public (and the press). Johnson is suggesting that Yankton could adopt a policy similar to one undertaken in Iowa, in which the minutes of a closed session are kept and could be released once, for instance, a proposed real estate transaction is either completed or canceled. Such a move would help shed a little more light into the murky workings of closed meetings and would allow certain aspects of these discussions to be made available to the people, who are, after all, the ones who have elected — and are paying — commissioners to serve them.
Read more here.

Johnson is another in a series of reporters leaving the profession for public relations.

Despite brutal winters, increases in inbound white retirees, cost of living and the flight of young people Yankton came in at #92 in Livability's 100 Best Small Towns.

South Dakota has routinely operated in an ethics vacuum often aborting efforts to reduce opacity.

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