Oh, the nit-picky public is such an annoyance. Something needs to be done.
We set up this local advisory group just packed full of local advisory types to advise the state on what, if anything, should be done about all this hostile braying up in Lake Norman.
Folk there are just bug-eyed agog over these sleek express lanes we’re building for them because they don’t think they should have to pay tolls for wider highways. They seem to think that they should be treated like citizens everywhere else in the state who get wider highways from their taxes.
Such absolute gall.
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They’ve made such a stink that consultants had to be hired to fashion something that might mollify the rabble. These outsiders cooked up some crackpot notions like removing the tolls and having the state pay for the lanes like it does everywhere else.
Then when the local advisory group got together to talk about that nonsense, the public wanted to come in and hear what was said.
I don’t know where you were raised, but where I’m from you don’t just sashay into a local advisory group packed with local public officials, plop down and eavesdrop like a Bulgarian spy.
These are dignitaries desirous of a free-flowing discussion about this sensational idea of granting a Spanish firm a 50-year monopoly to sell elite access at whatever price they please to the region’s most vital transportation artery.
It’s complicated stuff. You just can’t have people wandering in off the street. They’re unlikely to understand the nuances.
I mean, really.
So does the public appreciate being sheltered from such intricate deliberations? No! Suddenly everyone’s a smarty-pants attorney. They’re griping about a violation of the state’s open-meetings law.
They’re parsing the words of the statute like chemical engineers torture petroleum molecules. Because the law happens to mention offhandedly that public bodies serving an “advisory function” ought to have open meetings, they’re suggesting that something called a local advisory group packed with local officials advising the state about the next five decades of regional transportation should have open meetings too.
Yes, they’re serious.
Anyway, to put an end to their infantile wailing, there was a proposal to maybe stream the next meeting on the Internet. That way, if they must, they could see and hear from a respectful distance what wonderful things are being done on their behalf without actually being in the room where they could be, well, an unpleasant distraction at best.
No, they weren’t satisfied with this equitable solution. So now we’ll have to let them in. You just can’t believe the lengths these people will go to. Really, something needs to be done.
Reach columnist Mark Washburn at email@example.com.