By Scott Tibbs, August 23, 2012
A couple weeks ago, I had a guest column published where I criticized the county commissioners for having their meetings when most people cannot attend. At least with the county commissioners, you know when their meetings are. That is not the case with the Perry Township Board.
The last time the Herald-Times announced when a meeting of the board would take place (at least in searchable HTO archives) was for a January 13 meeting. But on June 24, Perry Township Trustee Dan Combs mentioned a resolution passed by the board two weeks earlier. So obviously there has been at least one meeting of the township board since then.
Meetings are required to be legally advertised, and I don't doubt that the Perry Township Board has met the letter of the law in advertising their meetings - but that is not enough. We live in the Information Age. There's no reason that the meeting times and places could not be posted on a blog, or an official Facebook or Twitter page.
City and county government are regularly covered by the H-T, but township government operates with virtually no public scrutiny other than official reports that people can get either from the township's website or from the state. I understand the H-T may not have the resources to cover township government, but at the very least the meeting times and places should be prominent on HeraldTimesOnline.com so that people can know when to attend. In fact, someone might even report on the meetings for a blog.
But township government should not reply on the Herald-Times to get the word out about their meetings. As I said above, there is simply no reason these meetings cannot be advertised on the Internet where people can easily look it up - just like the city council, county council and county commissioners do already. Both the Perry Township trustee and township board are up for re-election in 2014. Republican candidates challenging the incumbent Democrats would be well advised to make this part of their platforms.