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Transparency In Government Is Priceless
Friday, Feb. 18, 2011
How much are we willing to pay for open and transparent government?
In California, the governor is suggesting cuts to the state budget that would end the funding given to local government for posting public notice of meetings. This advance notification is part of the state’s open meeting requirements, designed to allow community input on items to be voted on by governing bodies. Public officials who violate the provisions, found in the Ralph M. Brown Act, face misdemeanor charges and may go before the local ethics commission.
The cuts are estimated to save $63 million the state owes for claims dating back to 2004. There are additional mandates that are also on the chopping block. According to a finance spokesman for the state “this wasn’t an effort to single out the Brown Act in any way, shape or form. We proposed suspension of all state mandates that weren’t involved with either public safety or property tax.”
In a time when every item in every budget is critical, we should not be cutting back on measures to ensure citizen input and transparent decision making.
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