KMBC editorial, text: Nov. 2, 2009 — JCCC, Open Meetings Act


Nov. 2, 2009 — JCCC, Open Meetings Act

Wayne Godsey, KMBC President And General Manager

POSTED: 8:53 am CST November 2, 2009
UPDATED: 8:57 am CST November 2, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas media organizations are asking Johnson County, Kan., District Attorney Steve Howe to revisit a complaint that the county’s community college trustees violated the state Open Meetings Act.

Former trustee Benjamin Hodge asked for the review after trustees went into closed session for the stated purpose of evaluating the performance of community college president Terry Calaway, something that is permitted under the law. During the closed session, Calaway produced a list of 64 possible budget cuts, then asked trustees not to share the list.

Incredibly, Howe ruled that this did not violate Kansas law. Like other tax-supported institutions, the Johnson County Community College has an obligation to provide as much information as possible to the taxpayers who pay its bills. It is the law, and the way it earns public trust and support.

Calaway and the trustees should be ashamed of their blatant and clumsy attempt to circumvent state law.