Live Oak —
It’s nice to live and work in a state that demands open government. If it deals with the taxpayer coffers, then said person should have the right to know how their money is being handled.
We really are fortunate here in Florida. Some states don’t have open government laws.
Sometimes taxpayers must take a back seat while elected officials have their way with the office they were entrusted to serve.
Take for instance economic development. Florida allows a private company to request confidentiality for some records as to its plans to locate or relocate to the state.
This exemption “applies only to records and does not constitute an exemption from the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Law”, according to an attorney general’s opinion.
We understand a company would like to keep some things from being aired in the public, due to competition. However, when it comes to using taxpayer money to attract a company, we believe the public should have the right to know what’s going on. Always.
The decision by the Live Oak City Council to move the finance director out from under the city administrator was a good move.
We understand the reasoning behind what the city council has voted on. The city administrator is responsible for carrying out the demands of the council, including how to spend the city’s revenues. And, by removing the chain of command from the city administrator over the finance director, that conflict would go away.
Now, the decision by the council isn’t final even though three of the five elected board members voted in favor. Mayor Sonny Nobles has the option to veto their decision. And he has stated in this newspaper that he isn’t happy with the council’s decision. If he does veto their decision, he must bring his reasons to the Oct. 9 board meeting. If the council decides to overrule him, they can, but must do so with at least four votes.
This is a positive management change at City Hall.
We hope the mayor understands this.
Live Oak —
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