Green River Star -

Our View: Let the sun shine into government

 


Reporters that cover elected officials learn pretty fast that candidates are all for open government.

But once elected, our public officials learn all too soon that the business of government is messy and the process of notifying the public can be lengthy and cumbersome.

It’s cumbersome because the informed citizen (you) reads newspapers and stays aware of what your elected officials have planned for your tax dollars, your land and your water.

And by your land and water we mean both the land on which your home sits and that land and water which we all own together as citizens: public property.

It’s a heck of a lot easier for our elected officials to make deals in back rooms without the scrutiny of the people whose lives are affected by those deals and whose tax dollars will be spent.

There are exceptions to the rules of open government which allow for the protection of government staff and children.

And when your school board starts looking for land on which to build, prudence rightly allows such action be kept quiet less land speculators jack-up their prices to bilk the taxpayer. And by and large, your government must keep you informed of how it spends and how it plans to spend your money.

But that doesn’t always keep them from hiding your business, the business of government from you.

The First Amendment to the Constitution is why you’ll find government chicanery in our pages. A free press is good insurance against an oppressive government.

Better insurance is a diligent citizenry. You owe it to yourself and to your descendants to read the public notices published as required by law, every week in this newspaper.

According to our research, most of our readers do so.

For most of this country’s history and for most of this county’s history, this newspaper has been a reliable source of your government’s plans and its actions.

But public notices can only inform you and protect your rights if you read them.

They begin this week on page B7.

 

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