Transparency is absolutely essential, as is accountability, in government, but a full understanding of any situation in which transparency is called into question is also critical. Sometimes a glimpse behind the scenes gives us a better perspective on why government officials take the actions they do, as in a recent action in which a proposed meeting was scheduled (but not held) involving only two of the three Commissioners.
Despite his protests to the contrary, Fred Parry's emails, sent through multiple personal email accounts, proved that our Southern Commissioner orchestrated the lawsuit recently brought against the Health Department Director in opposition to the COVID restrictions imposed on Columbia businesses—a Health Director who is contracted to serve the County’s citizens. Including Fred in a meeting intended to brief county officials about the lawsuit that he himself had instigated would have been frivolous.
Including him in any meeting to discuss how the County should reply, craft a responsive pleading, or determine the strategy for dealing with such a lawsuit would have served the personal interests of one Commission member and denied our responsibility to serve, first and foremost, the best interests of Boone County citizens.