Editorial: Sunshine sure does matter now

Jun. 04, 2014 @ 10:43 PM

We don’t have to look far to see people who would prefer our government leaders operate in sunshine.

Pivotal moments have engulfed school, county and city boards around the Tri-County. Granville County’s school board has garnered a glaring spotlight.

But commissioners in Vance County have also been under scrutiny, plodding in their antiquated way to approve a budget. And the city council for Henderson has delivered its priorities through budgeting as well.

Everyone should be sitting up and taking notice now. And they should again rise in unison when the General Assembly, or any other body, makes an attempt to shield us all from any part of their business.

One of our great fears with the education system isn’t in what anyone is getting paid — whether it is an administrator or the teachers. We’re fearful of what students are actually getting taught, and just as important, what they are not getting taught.

Alongside trying to prepare children for college or a job after high school, testing has become a subject unto itself. The way-too-late realization from previous generations that some people don’t test well has led us to today’s frenzy. OK, set up some assistance, and let’s help that aspect for students.

We’re also being hammered with science, engineering, technology and math — elements of what is called STEM. Well, that’s fantastic, too, but bear in mind not everyone can or needs to go into those related fields.

For both, we say moderation.

The landscape today includes far more than years past, but it should never allow unbiased knowledge of how our country operates to be replaced by tolerance for partisan political discourse serving as gospel truth. Politicians are shrewd as ever.

We must look and listen to see what our leadership is doing. That’s what the efforts for sunshine laws are all about. They are the protection we need from the very people we elect to work for us.

And those laws are also what leaders need for protection from us when we confront them and may or may not have all the facts.

Involvement by the public is positive. But our preference is to see the proactive approach, not the reactionary. Sunshine laws really do work best for both sides.