Secret Meeting

(Editor’s note: Served as a Member of the WV Racing Commission from February, 2013 until January 31, 2017 when Governor Justice replaced me after taking office.)

A visit to the website of the WV Racing Commission revealed they are ending the ability for interested parties including the press and commission staff to “call in to the meeting”. Those not based in Charleston will need to travel & spend money to know what is taking place.  This is a disturbing development.

Those investing in the racing industries are struggling in the changing industry. They need a cost effective way to know what decision makers are considering and the commission discussion before taking action.

Some of those employed by the commission are remotely located in distance places from the state capitol will need to spend (ever dwindling) commission funds to be present for meetings that may only last an hour. Often this staff needs to provide input on agenda matters as well as being informed.

This appears to be a step to keep the public & press in the dark. Whether it is required by law or regulation state government commission meetings should be made easy for parties to listen and participate.

When I was named as a Commissioner I urged regular standing meetings, more information to be provided on the agenda (outside of personnel matters) and a robust website that was easier for everyone to use. Persons should have an opportunity to listen and learn as well as speak – under public comments – without making an eight hour trip.

What are they trying to hide?


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