The Union Recorder


June 14, 2014

Council's whodunit inquiry into taped secret meeting waste of time and money

MILLEDGEVILLE — When government officials meet in secret, the public good is seldom served. A prime example is the March 3 City Council discussion of bank deposits that occurred at City Hall without anyone from the public or news media present.

In this case, an audio recording of the meeting emerged three months later, letting citizens of Milledgeville in on the secret: that most councilors were mad at Chat Daniel, president of Century Bank, for writing a critical letter about them to this newspaper.

The retribution: transfer $5.1 million in city funds from Daniel’s bank to Wells Fargo Bank, and keep your mouth shut about the correlation between his letter and the moving of funds from Century Bank.

The letter to the editor that triggered the talk of retaliation had nothing to do with bank deposits. Daniel took the City Council to task for not supporting a referendum on the proposal to consolidate city and county government services.

City Manager Barry Jarrett said it is the “way we do business.”

Now, the council has launched an investigation into who taped the secret meeting. Councilor Denese Shinholster said the recording breached the integrity of the council and she wants to expose the person so she can “deal with it.”

The integrity of the council was indeed breached. Not by the audio recording but rather by the council itself when it met in secret. Who made the recording is immaterial. Not one cent of city money or time should be spent on an investigation into the legal public exposure of an illegal meeting of the council.

The defiant response from some councilors to the recording is not only troubling for its possible legal ramifications but it’s also telling of how the council views its constituents, the value they place in the public trust, government transparency and the office they swore to uphold.

A portion of the taped conversation suggested residents of Milledgeville — the very people who elected members of the council — cannot decipher truth and reality for themselves so keep them in the dark.

That’s a slam at voters. They can deliver a dose of reality by insisting on public business being discussed in public, and voting for councilors that embrace that spirit of open government.




Text Only
Local News

The H.E.A.T traffic enforcement and education initiative began in the Baldwin County Schools corridor Monday. The RADAR Speed Detection Trailer is positioned on Ga. Highway 49.

SRC 5.jpg

The Teen Club, as part of the Twin Lakes Library System's Summer Reading Club, and Reference Supervisor Dabney Kinser do candy science experiments to finish up the science themed reading club experience.

07-25 Chatter.JPG

Chatter Boutique owner Amber Patitucci shows off a new shipment of jewelry. The former educator turned businesswoman is celebrating one year of business. To commemorate the event, the store is featuring a birthday bash sale with items at half price.

Local Sports
Local Weather Radar
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'