(Todd Bailey) – Now that time is running out, and little has been accomplished, members of the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group are looking for short cuts in the process. If only they could do things in secret, without all the obligations of the Open Meeting Law in Nevada, that requires public involvement in decision making.
Since the PhD, Sociology Professor Chair Robert Lang just moved here from Washington D.C., he really has no knowledge of the history or reasoning behind the Open Meeting Law. He simply views it as an obstacle to advancing the agenda he moved here to impose, under the direction of State Senate Democrat Majority Leader Steven Horsford.
The Open Meeting Law in Nevada (N.R.S. 241), requires that the decision making process and facts being used are available to the public before the discussion begins, and are also allowed to comment before the decision is made. While it does require extra time, effort, and money, Nevadans have had to learn many hard lessons on corruption and favoritism. The Open Meeting Law also protects members of the decision making group, as often certain members are more involved in the decision making than others. In the case of the Vision Stakeholder Group, this involves the only person NOT allowed to vote, who just moved to Nevada in January from Washington D.C., to teach Sociology at the University of Las Vegas, Dr. Lang, the chair.
Listen to PhD Sociology Professor Robert Lang try to lead the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group down a path that will create a conspiracy to violate the Nevada Open Meeting Law, through one to one phone conversations, to expedite the decision making process in his mind, and how some members of the group are already feeling left out of the process.
Based on the conversation at the meeting from April 21, obviously, many members of the Vision Stakeholder Group have been left out of many of the decisions on what facts go into the document so far, and are concerned about voting on the final document that goes to the Nevada Legislature, with a stamp of consensus that never went through the process. That means there has already been a violation of the Open Meeting Law, they just don’t know that, because the chair does not know what the Open Meeting Law is, means, or why we have it. Guess they never heard of that at the Brookings Institute, or maybe they were hoping to eliminate it sometime in Nevada’s future. Who knows what the plan is, or how much it will cost. Is there a plan, or just a cost?
Fact is, with over 76% of the people in the room directly benefiting from taxation, they have been allowed to assemble a Christmas list of “things that would be neat”, without any foundation in the current economic reality in Nevada. No member of the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group is considering the cost of anything. It is this reality that will ultimately lead to the failure of the Vision Stakeholder Group, not Nevada’s Open Meeting Law, that’s just people making excuses.
Listen to all the academic reasons why the Open Meeting Law is bad, and how the chair is promoting a conspiracy to violate the Open Meeting Law, through a “systematic inquiry”, they just don’t call it polling.
Only one member of the public was there to remind the members of the Nevada Vision Stakeholder Group about the Nevada Ethics Commission.
“Any attempt to circumvent, or violate, the Open Meeting Law will be immediately reported to the Nevada Ethics Commission. Any lack of knowledge, or dislike, of the Open Meeting Law, has to do with a lack of history in Nevada”, said one determined voice.
Sociology is the study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society. Perhaps a new requirement for the Nevada Legislature to consider in 2011, is the specific teaching on the Sociology of Nevada’s Open Meeting Law.
If the professors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, do not understand or appreciate this very important part of Nevada history and how it applies to the public process in Nevada, how can they teach it to the students in our universities? Do they readily suggest a “systematic inquiry”, as an alternative if they catch a student cheating?
If the economy in Nevada does not improve, and more budget cuts are necessary, perhaps the Nevada Taxpayer has found a new area to re-examine, as tough decisions need to be made about which programs to prioritize for funding. Those government institutions that refuse to respond to the will of the voters, and actively work to “systematically” undermine what Nevadans have worked so hard to create, should be the first to go.
The decisions become much easier when this standard is used, no academic excuses required.
(Mr. Bailey is a candidate for Nevada state senate in Washoe County)