Attorney’s advice is step in right direction

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Calabash town attorney Mark Lewis sent a letter to commissioners last week advising them to release information about a possible property purchase—information that has been withheld from the public since the board met on March 8.

The Beacon had previously argued the town improperly discussed details about property acquisition in closed session at that meeting. We believe, and we backed our argument up with opinions from press attorneys, state statute, attorney generals’ opinions and a Court of Appeals case, that the town needed to make public information about the property location and who owns it.

Board members and town officials previously declined to release the information, saying the advisement from Lewis had been they had met in a proper closed session. It appears Lewis has changed position after sending a letter to the board urging it to release the portion of minutes from that closed session that pertain to the property acquisition.

We’re glad to see Lewis encouraging the board to do the right thing, and we hope the board responds appropriately and releases details about the property location and owner.

As we have previously argued, the money that will be spent to appraise the property and possibly purchase it will come from taxes. That means each and every taxpayer has the right to know basic information about the property.

The board is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. April 12. We strongly urge the board to release this information in the interest of transparency and operating a fair and open government.