- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)47
- Neelys Landing man shot, killed by highway patrol trooper after traffic stop (05/01/16)43
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)8
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)40
- 2016 All-Missourian Boys Basketball (04/29/16)
- Statement: Man says cops’ good work drove him to grow his own marijuana (05/01/16)1
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
- River Ridge Winery changes hands (05/01/16)
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.