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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

O’Brien, Hartley Reveal Appalling Disregard for Citizens’ Rights

By Dan Bockhorst


September 28, 2019
Saturday PM

Asked how they would address disagreements with the Borough Assembly, mayoral candidate Michelle O’Brien stated, “you can have private discussions in terms of voicing your disagreement with fellow assembly members.” Sidney Hartley stated, “I would have my own private conversations with Assembly members.” Those views were reported in local news media on September 27.

O’Brien and Hartley display a shocking disregard for the right of citizens of Ketchikan to remain informed about the people’s business. Both have declared that they would conduct public business privately.

State and Borough laws prescribe that deliberations of the Borough assembly “be conducted openly.” Those laws provide further that the citizens of Ketchikan do not give elected Borough officials “the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.” State and Borough laws enshrine the right of Ketchikan citizens to remain informed so “they may retain control over the instruments they have created.” (See AS 44.62.312 and KGBC 2.10.190.)

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis set the standard for the conduct of the people’s business when he famously stated more than a century ago, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.”

Dan Bockhorst
Ketchikan, Alaska



Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.


Received September 27, 2019 - Published September 29, 2019

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