Sunshine laws and the new hotel – March 16, 2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Former Mayor Andy Damiani stopped by the office today. Andy’s always a welcome visitor because he usually has a few tidbits of news to pass along. His source is his breakfast group at Hardees.

Today, however, he wanted to know what we were going to do about &uot;Sunshine Week,&uot; dedicated to focusing attention on sunshine laws, which require the government to conduct its business in public.

Today’s editorial resulted from his visit. While I mentioned it coming up a few weeks back, it had completely slipped my mind.

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&uot;Government is getting more and more secretive,&uot; Andy said. &uot;People don’t seem to care.&uot;

Andy was toting Sunday’s copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which had a tremendous package on Sunshine laws. Got to, or google &uot;Sunshine Laws.&uot; It’s important information and every citizen’s civic duty to hold their government accountable.

I was fortunate to have lunch Tuesday at the Constance Wharf Grill inside the new Hilton. The food – a portabella burger – was wonderful. Please visit for lunch if you get the chance. The price, $8.95, wasn’t bad either. It was worth that just to sit in the dining room and enjoy the scenery.

After lunch, Dennis Craff, the city’s communication’s director, and City Manager Steve Herbert, despite battling the flu, were kind enough to give me a tour. What a magnificent facility. The city manager was pointing out all the upgrades the city paid for, to put Suffolk’s Hilton head and shoulder above the rest. They included an widened and extended porch overlooking the Nansemond, parking lots, an all brick facade and many other things.

It’s a first class facility and I look forward to taking advantage of every opportunity to utilize it.

Watch for a News-Herald special section on the hotel coming in early April.