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Boos and applause

August 24, 2013
The Inter-Mountain

- Applause to all the dedicated education professionals in our area who worked so hard to get local schools ready for the return of students this week. No work is more important than educating our children. We salute you!

- Applause to the free concert offered Wednesday in downtown Elkins. The performance by Bear Hill Bluegrass was provided by the Elkins Depot Welcome Center. A large crowd attended the show, and Mother Nature smiled on them by holding off rain clouds until the band had finished.

- Applause to all who helped support the Elkins/Randolph County YMCA?Drive for Fitness last weekend. The event raised $10,000 for the local institution, and will help provide funding for classes, basketball programs and general operating expenses.

- Boo to the Barbour County Board of Education for ignoring state rules about how governmental meetings should be run. During Tuesday's special call meeting of the BOE, members voted on every item on the agenda, and then decided to go into executive session. The trouble is, there was no executive session listed on the agenda, and there were no remaining items for discussion listed either. C. Joan Parker, the executive director of the West Virginia Ethics Commission, has said elected officials cannot go into executive session for issues that are not printed on a meeting's agenda.

The Barbour BOE may feel like they're being unfairly - and regularly - singled out for criticism on this editorial page. However, they invite such criticism by their actions: Barbour Board of Education meetings frequently last from five to six hours, and more than half of each meeting is usually consumed by lengthy executive sessions. This seems excessive, to say the least. If the Barbour BOE is going to spend so much time meeting behind closed doors, at least they could follow the state's rules on how and why an agency can go into executive session.



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