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A hidden budget?

You have to wonder what Seattle Times columnist, as opposed to Seattle Council member, Jean Godden would have written about this:

“A Seattle Times reporter was denied entrance to a budget briefing on Thursday afternoon. Tom Von Bronkhorst, a legislative aide to Councilmember Jean Godden, physically dragged the reporter away from it by the strap of her bag.”

We’re not so totally one-sided on the matter of public meetings as to argue that there are, from time to time, legitimate reasons for shutting the doors. But there are no very damn many, and they certainly don’t include the fashioning of budgets – which are financial documents describing how the public’s money is going to be spent for, one hopes, the public good.

Leave aside the matter of law, that shutting out the public from a budget session is almost certainly illegal. As well: How is it possibly defensible as a matter of public ethics? Maybe council member Godden could offer some enlightenment . . .

ANOTHER VIEW The Slog has a very different take on what was going on – primarily, that the meeting was informal and concerned budget cuts, not budget setting. Still doesn’t especially convince us away from the main point.

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