- Police: Man dies from self-inflicted gunshot after standoff in south Cape (1/14/18)3
- Here's what's being built next to Chick-fil-A in Cape (1/18/18)1
- Author of Waller's manuscript rewarded for helping feds (1/13/18)
- Cape lands new summer-league baseball team; Capaha Field to see major upgrades (1/20/18)8
- Man sentenced to life for killing mother, burning her body; mouth taped shut at hearing (1/20/18)
- Poultry in motion: 4-H participants take first in nation with barbecue skills (1/13/18)1
- Redhawk Food Pantry helping Southeast students, employees who need assistance with food, supplies (1/19/18)2
- Word to your superintendent: Glass rocks Vanilla Ice parody to announce cancellation (1/13/18)3
- 3 mayor candidates in Scott City; former mayor Porch files for council seat (1/18/18)
- Chronic wasting disease found in 2 Southeast Missouri deer; whether disease transferable to humans unknown (1/18/18)
Years from now, when the current Cape Girardeau County commissioners are no longer around, there will be no official record -- just newspaper stories -- that a plan to follow simple meeting procedures designed to provide accountability for the commission was ever discussed, much less turned down by two of the county's three commissioners.
That's not because Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones didn't make a good and earnest effort. He did. He offered guidelines that would have followed the basic procedures used by most cities, school boards and county commissions across Missouri.
Currently, the commission holds informal sessions. In some cases, votes aren't taken or aren't recorded. In other instances, items that aren't on the agenda are quickly decided without giving the public any notice.
That's OK with Joe Gambill and Larry Bock, the other commissioners. They voiced their strong opposition to the plan offered by Jones. But they didn't vote.
The commission gets caught in a bind from time to time because of its haphazard procedures. For example, commissioners were unable to document any official action when one of its purchasing decisions was challenged recently.
It doesn't have to be this way. Jones offered a sensible and rational plan that imposed no undue hardship on the commission. Let's hope current or future commissioners will see the wisdom of specific agendas and good record-keeping.