Follow the breadcrumbs below for an up-close-and-personal look at McCrory administration's "duck and cover" approach to doing the public's business.
A simple request:
From: Martha Brock
Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 10:38 AM
Subject: Fw: MHBG SAMHSA/CMHS Site Visit - MH Planning Council - Wed June 12
This is an important meeting. I asked to be on the phone to listen in. I was told I could not because DHHS Public Affairs lists me as a reporter (which I am not).
I am a writer, however, and I think this should be treated as an open meeting given the NC Mental Health Planning Council is a public body and its members are appointed public officials.
The first response from DHHS:
From: Henry, Julie G
To: Martha Brock Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:26 PM
Subject: RE: MHBG SAMHSA/CMHS Site Visit - MH Planning Council - Wed June 12
I have communicated with Susan and it is fine for you to be on the call because it is a public meeting. You have, in the past, identified yourself as a journalist, so I have instructed Susan to refer your questions regarding policy to our office.
As a courtesy to others on the conference call, it would be preferable for you to make them aware if you are planning to use the discussion as part of your writing about mental health issues in our state.
Thanks very much and feel free to call if you have questions.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Public Affairs
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh NC 27603
The follow-up note:
It is an open meeting, and it was not announced to the public as required by statute. The last meeting of thee NC Mental Health Planning Council on May 30 was also not announced, and was not treated as an open meeting.
I do not have to give my reason for attending an open meeting. I know of no reason under law for a journalist or writer to be treated differently from anyone else in the public. If you do, please advise the basis for this special treatment.
It appears the Republicans in Raleigh have little understanding of open government and transparency. The idea that a citizen would be given either more or less access to an open public meeting is beyond mind-boggling.
This tells you everything you need to know about what's behind Pat McCrory's happy talk on customer service: A bunch of nothing.