It has often been said that laws are like sausages — it’s best not to see them being made.
We don’t think this sentiment is true. Certainly, the idea of living in blissful ignorance may comfort some people who would rather not know what goes into the decisions made by their elected leaders. We want to believe, however, these folks represent only a small segment of our society.
Most Americans care about how their laws are made, and they want to know of all the ingredients used in the process. An informed public is a demanding one. By that, we mean engaged citizens have certain expectations of their government. They expect their government to be open. They expect their government to be honest. And they expect their government to fulfil its responsibilities to the people.
We demand these things of all levels of government — local, state and federal. If you live in Washington County, you have good reason to be disappointed with your government. The recent dustup over a new county budget is a good example of what happens when citizens don’t pay attention to what’s going on with their government.
That’s why we think meetings of the Washington County Commission should be televised on cable. Johnson City Commission meetings have been televised on its government access channel for years and have provided city taxpayers with a great insight into what goes on in their government. County taxpayers should have the same opportunity to watch the sausage being made.