I could hardly believe the story I read in today's Fresno Bee about the City Council destroying the audio tapes of their meetings -- 16 years' worth of tapes, from 1992 through 2007. It was a decision that would have made Richard Nixon proud.
My first thought was that someone had gotten to the council. Thought No. 2 was it was just plain dumb by a bunch of people who don't understand the importance of history. The tapes tell us why the council made a particular decision, who argued for and against it, what the tone and texture of the debate was.
It's probably a little of both. Council members didn't understand the historical importance of the tapes and they didn't want their words to come back and haunt them in a future political run.
The excuse is that it takes a lot of space to store all those tapes. Baloney. The public library would surely take them or one of the community's political institutes, such as the Ken Maddy Institute at Fresno State.