Monday, December 03, 2007

The Public's Right to Know

Despite intentions of some in the state's government, proposed changes in the laws on doing business in public remain snarled and confusing to the public at large, and threaten to push more business and policy decisions into back rooms. School boards are also seeking exemptions to the public meeting laws.

It's one of those important situations wherein the ramifications of the changes may not be immediately apparent, but one day down the line the public will discover their input and oversight into governmental operations has been shut down.

Make no mistake -- citizens need to pay heed to this proposal now before it is too late.

Bloggers and newspapers in the state are keeping a close watch on this issue:

- A KNS editorial warns against weaker laws

- Other bloggers offer comment

- A discussion between online writers

Some fine news which I had missed is that Hamblen County government has now placed minutes of their county commission meetings online. Blogger Linda Noe has all the details on how to access the information and navigate through it. Kudos to the county for this effort to provide information!

Another good resource for tracking how well or how poorly Tennessee governmental bodies provide public records and access to information is available at the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

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