Freeholders 1, Transparency 0

On Wednesday the Sussex County Board of Freeholders, Republicans all, voted 3-2 against allowing Service Cable to tape and broadcast its meetings.

transparency-450.jpgThere would have been zero expense to the county.

Phillip Crabb and Richard Vohden voted in favor, but were defeated by

Freeholder Director George Graham, Freeholder Deputy Director Carl Lazzaro and Freeholder Jonathan Rose.

Throughout most of New Jersey county, municipal and school board meetings are taped and available for viewing on local cable channels.

While Vohden introduced the motion and Crabb spoke in favor of transparency, the three opposing freeholders gave various, and in some cases incredulous, reasons for their votes, according to the New Jersey Herald.

Lazzaro thought the issue was being rushed and questioned its urgency, despite the fact that, as Vohden stated, the issue has been in discussion for years, and also was wary of people “grandstanding for the cameras” during the meeting.

Graham said, well, it’s never been done.

And Rose said his opposition is that the footage wouldn’t be available online, where views could jump to what they want to see, but only on cable, where they would have to watch the whole thing (He is apparently unaware that not taping the sessions means they are not online anyway, and cable viewers can record broadcasts and fast forward through them).

Thus, for the time being, the Board of Freeholders will continue to operate in view only of those residents who can come in person to their (often held at inconvenient times) meetings.