When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. —VDT

Go VDT! There are so many potential applications of today’s editorial in the Valdosta Daily Times, from animals, to prisons, to zoning code enforcement, to biomass:
But there are still those who don’t understand the purpose of a newspaper, and it’s clearly not to be a marketing tool for the community. In addition to reporting the news of the day, a newspaper’s job as a member of the “fourth estate,” so deemed by Thomas Jefferson, is to hold public officials accountable for their actions.

“When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are.”
To The Times and its editorial board, it’s far worse for the community’s image to have public officials knowingly lie, illegally withhold public documents and try to bully those who are only after the truth.

When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. You can’t be accused of lying if you don’t lie. You won’t receive an open-records request if you answer questions honestly and in accordance with the law.

Companies looking to settle in a community are understanding when it comes to crime, as it happens everywhere. But far more interesting to them is the honesty and integrity of the community’s officials.

If an entity will lie and withhold information from the local news media and the citizens, why would industry expect any different?

There was an old game show called Truth or Consequences. Too often, some entities ignore the truth and are surprised by the consequences. Sadly, the public too often feels the consequences when it could use a little truth.

Now let’s see them apply the same standard to CUEE, or can the VDT not see through the bogus claims of an organization it supports?


3 thoughts on “When officials act like they are hiding something, they usually are. —VDT

  1. Barbara Stratton

    I commend the VDT for its persistence in pursuing requests for information on many subjects. However, as John mentioned some subjects such as CUEE don’t seem to elicit the same due diligence in pursuing true facts. The VDT continues to support CUEE agendas even though it has been well established that the CUEE committee did not follow true priority of law when it ignored the 1983 GA constitutional law requiring all involved systems in a consolidation action be allowed to vote. CUEE still persists in following a 1926 statute that says only city voters are allowed to vote & the VDT continues to support their efforts. It seems to me a failure to acurately report all facts exists for both the CUEE committee members & the VDT staff. Since a costly voter referendum action has been activated & supported by both entities in spite of & in the face of priority of law objections it is my opinion a crime or crimes have been perpetuated upon the citizens of Lowndes Co. & a Grand Jury investigation should be convened to address these criminal actions.

  2. Susan Leavens

    “You won’t receive an open-records request if you answer questions honestly and in accordance with the law.” What an honest statement; prehaps some of this too.
    (c) The power granted to counties in subparagraphs (a) and (b) above shall not be construed to extend to the following matters or any other matters which the General Assembly by general law has preempted or may hereafter preempt, but such matters shall be the subject of general law or the subject of local acts of the General Assembly to the extent that the enactment of such local acts is otherwise permitted under this Constitution:
    (1) Action affecting any elective county office, the salaries thereof, or the personnel
    thereof, except the personnel subject to the jurisdiction of the county governing
    (2) Action affecting the composition, form, procedure for election or appointment,
    compensation, and expenses and allowances in the nature of compensation of the
    county governing authority.
    (3) Action defining any criminal offense or providing for criminal punishment.

  3. An Outsider Looking In

    State Atty General Sam Olens said he was going to get the fines for Ga. Open Records violations up’d from a mere 100 dollars to 500 dollars. I think he is a big govt. transparency advocate.
    With that said – the Ga. Open Records Act -and Meetings Act – were probably intially created due TO corrupt officials.
    Here in the south, as we all know – it’s called the “good ole boy system”. And it’s in most small, rural counties – and even the bigger ones, although the closer you get to Atlanta, (and the bigger risk of media coverage) the more “under the table” they try to keep things.
    I would imagine that the corrupt persons in Lowndes Co., being so far south, are very open about it – sort of tossing it into the taxpaying resident’s faces.

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