Cheers and jeers from around the news:

• Jeers to the town of Brunswick, and all elected officials who still don’t recognize it’s always best to err on the side of transparency. That’s the easiest rule for dealing with sticky wickets of government, such as when — or when not — to bring the public business behind closed doors.

If an elected panel is unsure of which way is right, always presume transparency. If wrong, the transgression is minor compared to the opposite, which would be conducting public business in the gloaming of a shadowy, and probably illegal, executive session.

Brunswick councilors could have avoided the criticism — and perhaps repercussions — of its fumbling the managerial hire by using the presumption of sunshine. That they didn’t, and that one councilor said the board was “stumbling in the dark,” is inexcusable.

Another councilor said the process was hampered by a lack of a written policy. Yet the law is the law, and common sense is common sense. Abiding by one or the other would have been the right thing. It shouldn’t take a written policy to realize that.

• Cheers to the U.S. Postal Service and the town of Otisfield for reaching the mutually beneficial conclusion to keep “Pandora,” the town’s lone public mailbox, from being removed. Hopefully, there are no hard feelings on either side.

The town got international attention for its impassioned defense of its mailbox. Yet while absolving a Maine community from a cost-cutting move won’t measurably affect the postal budget, the service is still imperiled by deficit. Hard choices are ahead for the USPS.

Otisfield has shown the mail is still needed and valued. The trick for the USPS and Congress is converting this goodwill into sustainability, without gutting the service in the process.

• Cheers to Sen. Olympia Snowe for renewing calls to enact the aircraft passenger bill of rights, following another traumatic experience for air travelers in Minnesota. Forty-seven passengers on a Continental Airlines flight were stuck inside the plane for six hours in a weather-related delay.

First, that shouldn’t happen. Keeping people confined in an aircraft for hours is not quite torture, but after six hours, few would argue that it’s quite close to it. Passengers should have some avenue to protest their treatment in these delays, and a basic bill of rights would be it.

Airlines have opposed this, saying they don’t need Congress to tell them how to treat their paying passengers. After this latest incident, however, this promise looks hollow. And the time for a passenger bill of rights seems due.

• And, finally, cheers to Sen. Susan Collins for telling the Sun Journal’s editorial board this week the $2 billion injection to “cash for clunkers” should be its last funding gasp. We’d argue there never should have been a first one, but, hey, it’s all moot now.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.