Does Village Government really need to be Secret?

Secrecy in government.

It is quite obvious that certain properties are either being considered for purchase or are coming up for sale in Shorewood that Village Hall must be aware of.

Village Hall not only seems to know what is going on in terms of the local property market but is also aware of what is generally and specifically taking place on an on-going basis. Village Hall is usually informed as to future transactions, not always publicly known.

As a matter of fact, sometimes Village Hall is engaged in discussion and often in negotiations with various property owners, buyers and developers who wish to purchase some properties in the interest of creating some advantages for those involved in these transactions.

Little or none of this information is available publicly, as few if any of the discussions of these matters at Village Hall are made public, which is in keeping with what might be business practices. However, government certainly is not a business and secret operations are usually frowned upon in government processes. It would seem that citizens of this Village should be included in what is going on.

It is usually when various agreements reach certain stages that some citizens are invited to “public information session,” for the purpose of taking further steps. These sessionss are often ill-timed, usually when all discussion and agreements up to that point cannot be easily turned around?

These secret activities, discussions and transactions are often defended in the interest of those involved. Are the citizens' interests less important than the interests of those involved? Don't citizens have the right to know? For after all, it is their community.

After all, the Village belongs to us, to the citizens and not to outside interests nor to those temporarily at Village Hall. The Village does belong to those who are being distanced from this information, does it not? If Village Hall represents the interests of the citizens, doesn't that call for “real” consultation with the citizens?

Government secrecy is claimed to be all in the interest of improving our tax base. That's all well and good, but shouldn't we also look toward improving community spirit, community social environment and its physical environment?

Isn't there something more important than tax base, what about the community itself? I know that tax returns are important, but I also believe that we should give serious thought to this mentality of secrecy, and examine to what extent that it is needed, if required at all?

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