Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In Prince George's, only part of meetings are meetings

They control the horizontal. They control the vertical. They turn the cameras off when they're not just looking important, on the Prince George's County Council.

The Gazette notes that the play-acting part of county government gets streamed, taped and rebroadcast, while the "committee" meetings do not.

Using a fiction called the "committee of the whole" the PG solons turn off the video and audio recording. Only people who are not at work and have time to attend the physical meeting find out what's really said.

Why shouldn't the public see this part of legislating? Because it's "informal," say the electeds. (Maryland state law doesn't recognize any difference between an "informal" meeting and a bar brawl as long as a quorum of the public body is there conducting public business.)

It's important to note that anyone has the right to record audio and / or video or these PG council meetings. Which leads us to ask where the YouTube videos of county government are. Isn't this something high school and college students should be doing as part of their education?

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