We hope the Commission can appreciate that decisions like this open the relationship between the free press and government, a hallmark to an effective democracy and an informed citizenry.

Credit where credit is due.

It’s no surprise we’ve been unhappy with how the Camden County Commission has approached the 2016 network system crisis and access to public information under the Missouri Sunshine Law. 

Our views on what has been taking place on the county level are not personal. Our views stem from our frustration and lack of access to information coming from the executive office. When commissioners do the right thing, we will commend them.

On Thursday, Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty and Associate Commissioner Bev Thomas took a step in the right direction by releasing a key document to members of the media regarding the decision making process, and actually spent about a half hour answering questions related to the topic. 

Associate Commissioner Don Williams did not attend the meeting, although he had not been elected to office yet when the breach and subsequent emergency meetings occurred.

The document shed light on previously unanswered questions related to how and why the Commission acted the way they did, something this newspaper has attempted to understand through various means.

Since the commissioners have not always been willing to answer questions, we have learned most of what we knew, until now, using the Missouri Sunshine Law to access documents through the Commissioner’s Office and the requests that have been denied from law enforcement agencies who investigated the unsecured network. 

On Thursday, the Commission provided its clearest and most forthcoming account of the events that occurred since the investigations were launched. And we appreciate that. In light of what we hope is the beginning of a new way of handling county business, we are willing to set aside the fact that it took the commission more than a year to address the issue.

We have no grudges or vendettas against this commission or any of the individual commissioners and are more than happy to commend them for this approach to open and accountable government. 

We hope the Commission can appreciate that decisions like this open the relationship between the free press and government, a hallmark to an effective democracy and an informed citizenry.