Seems we have a disagreement over whose rules rule.
Last week the Community Enhancement Plan work group approved a set of bylaws to govern the South Coast Community Foundation. The work group is the body of elected and administrative officials undertaking the detail work of crafting an entire plan, of which the foundation is a part.
Briefly, the Community Enhancement Plan is being created to accept and manage the expected financial windfall should the Jordan Cove Energy Project build a liquefied natural gas export plant here.
The entire plan is the responsibility of four government entities — the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, the Coos County Commission and the board of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay. Those partners are the ones that are supposed to be making the rules and are ultimately responsible for the results. In recognizing that responsibility, the work group produced bylaws for the foundation that require open meetings and transparent operations.
Seems the founding members of the foundation don’t see it that way.
This week, World reporter Chelsea Davis asked for a meeting date and agenda for the foundation’s next meeting. The foundation’s president, Bill Lansing, wasn’t sure when the foundation would meet and said he would refuse her request for an agenda. He contends that all four partners must adopt the new bylaws (two have, two others are scheduled to), and he and his foundation colleagues must also adopt them. Until then, they don’t count. Lansing and his colleagues contend that they will continue to follow bylaws originally crafted in January.
Those are the bylaws we said back in January contained a fatal flaw. They created a board entirely insulated from the public. Our elected officials never approved them and, instead, got to work to change them.
We can see the point Mr. Lansing’ is trying to make. We strongly disagree with him.
We think the foundation board ought to abide by the clear direction being given by the entities who hold the ultimate power and the burden of responsibility. They should follow the lead of the Community Enhancement Plan work group and the governmental bodies that approved their board appointments, but not their flawed bylaws.