Letters to the Editor

Janet Hill Keefer: The public loses

I appreciated your Nov. 13 editorials “No secrets at UNC” regarding the secrecy in which the UNC Board of Governors has been operating and “Burr’s locked report” about the actions by Sen. Richard Burr to seal and bury the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on our country’s use of torture.

Both illustrate the regrettable tendencies of public officials and public institutions to operate in secret. Both situations should raise another concern as well.

While open-meetings and open-records laws cover the BOG (what a terrific acronym that is!) and Burr, such laws do not cover private for-profit businesses.

As North Carolina rushes to privatize the operations of its prisons and other government services, the public will lose even the small rays of light required by state and federal sunshine laws.

As voters, we should be afraid – very afraid – of the loss of public accountability, which will be a direct consequence of placing essential public services in private hands.

Janet Hill Keefer