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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

(Vancouver) Columbian Editorial on Secrecy at Port

The (Vancouver) Columbian writes this stinging editorial against the Port of Camas-Washougal. The State Auditor Office's audit of the port concluded that the agency unlawfully kept the public out of the selection of the developer for a project. But there is more to this than just one project:

"On the heels of a scalding state audit of the (port), there can be no mistaking the bottom line: Elected officials and top staff people at ports, fire districts, city halls and other governments should think long and hard about keeping secrets from the taxpayers, voters and residents. Instead, engage them.

"And there’s this implicit message from state Auditor Brian Sonntag to citizens: When secrecy is a problem, fight back."

The editorial then describes how another port in the area passed a tax increase without public input but then the voters rose up and repealed it--and un-elected a port commissioner in the process.