Meetings laws are for the public

Published 1:02 am Sunday, December 26, 2010

November’s elections signaled a strong desire for change in America. A powerful “out with the incumbents” message was delivered loud and clear.

Time will tell if that plan is productive.

However regardless of one’s political party leanings, a refreshing silver lining exists in the Tea Party’s emergence — a renewed interest in being involved in government by an increasing number of citizens.

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That’s a great thing as all forms of our nation’s government depend on citizen involvement — from voters to citizens who are willing to step up and get involved.

To that end, we’re excited by a renewed interest in the public’s right to see the inner workings of their government.

Open meetings laws and public records laws exist to help provide regular citizens the access to all forms of their government.

Their purpose is to provide transparency and prevent government fraud and secrets.

We’ve long been advocates of tighter open meetings and public records laws. We’ve lobbied for more strict penalties for government officials that break the laws.

But among the most important things we can do to that end is improving the education and awareness of the laws that exist.

Public records laws and open meetings laws are among the most precious protections the public possesses.