What do yout think? poll results

December 03, 2006

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: Should the Dec. 12 interviews of applicants for an open seat on the Hagerstown City Council be conducted in open session?

The session should be open so that the public can see how the council conducts business, not what goes on behind closed doors.

This isn't the type of business that should go on in a closed session. The appointment of what's normally an elected position affects everyone in the city and the people of the city have a right to see and hear what's going on.


It's even more upsetting now that they have pared down the original 16 down to six without even asking questions of the applicants in an interview setting.

The most important reason for having at least part of this process in the open is for the public to observe who among the sitting mayor and council will try to dominate the discussion and dictate the decision.

Mayor Bruchey made an argument that the sessions need to be closed because some of the questions may embarrass the questioner or the candidate. My response to that: Either you have no business asking it in the first place or your candidate has no business getting into politics if they can't speak honestly about themselves without wanting to cringe.

I believe that the Mayor is trying to accommodate both the people and the council. The people by having the first set of interviews public, the council by allowing party members to ask questions that may unearth the candidates feelings on certain party politics.

The Mayor was appointed and never was interviewed in open session. He may be trying to bring some balance to the process where there was never a process outlined before.

There are a lot of meetings that should be open, but this is like a job interview, I believe. In that case, perhaps it should be closed. If you can not trust your elected officials to carry out this job, then there is a bigger problem here.

Trust no politician even the ones you voted for. If they can't tell the whole truth then they don't need to be there. Keep every political office open to the public because we want to know what really goes on behind closed doors.

It's our money riding on this. Open it up to the public.

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