Press-Republican

Editorial

January 20, 2014

Cheers and Jeers: Jan. 20, 2014

JEERS to the Clinton County Legislature for discussing committee assignments behind closed doors. The legislature met in executive session following a recent regular meeting to discuss a contract with one of the county’s unions. That reason for the closed meeting is certainly allowed under the Freedom of Information Law, but what transpired following the contract talks is not.

County Attorney James Coffey, County Administrator Michael Zurlo and Deputy County Administrator Rodney Brown were ordered to leave the room, and the discussion turned to annual committee assignments, certainly an area of public interest.

We can recall a discussion on committee assignments about 15 years ago when Keith Defayette, the lone Democrat on the legislature at the time, loudly expressed his disappointment and frustration on being passed over for any assignments of his choice. That display of passion from Defayette was done so on the floor of the legislature, in full view of the public, as it should have been.

Since it is early in the new term, we will give the legislators and their new chairman, Sam Dyer, the benefit of the doubt that they may have inadvertently thought a private discussion was allowed in this case.

But it is not, and the Press-Republican — and the public, no doubt — will be watching closely to make sure that county business that should be conducted publicly takes place out in the open.

CHEERS to people who go out of their way to put things right. The example we offer comes to us from a local family who has a twentysomething relative living in California. An uncle and aunt of this young woman sent her a $20 check for Christmas, as she was not able to get back to Plattsburgh to celebrate the holidays.

The Plattsburgh couple who had sent the gift were surprised just recently to receive an envelope from a Los Angeles address, with the following letter inside:

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