It appears that the town of Clayton is in the market to purchase some more land.
But what land and for what purpose, well, that remains a mystery.
Town officials have declined to say what properties the town may be interested in purchasing. And they’ve declined to answer questions from a reporter about what they would do with the land if they do ultimately buy it.
According to Town Manager Steve Biggs, the town is considering the purchase of one or more parcels of land that are not contiguous.
Clayton officials have almost always been upfront about the dealings of our government.
That makes this instance of secrecy that much more difficult to understand.
Without knowing what the property would be used for, it’s hard for the taxpaying public to know whether such a purchase is truly worthwhile.
Openness in these matters always serves a local government well.
Negotiations between governments and private landowners may legally go on in secret. And we understand the justification for an allowance like that when those negotiations get down to the brass tacks of the sales terms.
But the town misses the mark when it tries to keep other information - like the reason for a land purchase or what land its negotiating over - secret from the people they serve.