Part of a series, Mississippi: The Secret State.
JACKSON – Here’s a quick interview with House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, about openness in government:
Q: What does transparency in government mean to you?
A: “For the most part, I believe that everything concerning government should be made public immediately. All actions should be taken in public, all discussions in public, all pending matters made public, any electronic communications made public. To me, it’s total openness from the beginning to the end.”
Q: When should access be limited or denied?
A: “It should be open unless there is a legal issue that should not be discussed openly, unless there is some kind of very personal matter concerning employees – in other words, personnel – unless you’re dealing with some kind of purchase or selling of real estate or property. There are a few things like this that need to be handled very discreetly but will finally be made public. But in the beginning, they may need to be more discreet.”