It was such a small detail, an aside really, in the action the other night in the long meeting of the Chautauqua County Legislature that you might not have even noticed a reference to it in our coverage on Thursday.
It happened when lawmakers were debating a controversial proposal to give the Chautauqua Lake Association some $200,000 for weed control and lake maintenance.
As quickly as it might have gone by, we still say bravo to Jay Gould for blocking a move to have legislators talk about the issue in secret.
Gould, the Republican legislature chairman, said that no, the legislature's two political caucuses could not meet together in private to talk about the funding proposal. Democrat Minority Leader Lori Cornell of Jamestown, sponsor of the legislation, had hoped to speak to both caucuses together and privately to try to persuade lawmakers to support the funding.
The state Open Meeting Law, however, is very clear that when a majority of members of a public body gather to talk about the public's business, that is a meeting under the definition of the law and it must be open to the public.
We appreciate Legislator Cornell's passionate defense of her proposal and desire to leave no stone unturned in gathering the votes needed to approve the funding.
However, the law is clear and its intent is pure: The public has a right and a need to know what government is doing.
We would have dropped a ton a verbal bricks on Legislator Gould if he had allowed the joint caucus meeting, and so it seems only fair to give him a pat on the back this morning for protecting the public's right to know.