March 15-21 has been declared Missouri Sunshine Week, by Attorney General Christ Koster.
The week is to remind local governments about open record and meeting laws. To kick off the week the Monarch Fire Protection District is having a CLOSED MEETING on March 15.
This will be the fifth closed meeting since Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich issued a scathing report about Monarch illegally holding closed meetings. The report included that Monarch used closed meetings to hide such things as a $26,000 party for employees, claiming it was a personnel issue.
The latest round of Monarch closed meetings also comes after a Post-Dispatch editorial lambasting the fire district and other government agencies that use closed meetings to keep the public from knowing what is going on with their tax dollars.
I am beginning to think the only way to have more open meetings than closed meetings at Monarch is for the voters to get elephant like memories and vote in new fire board members that pledge to have open meetings.
That might be tough since the three fire board members serve staggered six-year terms and there is just one board member spot up for election every two years. The next election is in 2013.