Connecticut’s Public Records Challenge (Update)


A little while ago I posted about Connecticut towns who took their Web sites down because they couldn’t comply with a state requirement to put meeting minutes online quickly. Here is an update from Open Records. One town’s residents decided not to stand for it. Wallingford, CT’s Jason Zandri decided to put up a town Web site himself.

“Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. Wallingford resident Jason Zandri did exactly that.

Zandri spent over 100 hours of his own time to develop a new web site, Wallingford, to pick up where the official town website leaves off. While his site should not be confused with the official town site, he has loaded it with a lot of information not found on the town site, including the minutes of the town meetings, budget info and a list of state lawmakers’ postal and e-mail addresses.”

Incredibly impressive, the internet not only allows citizens to take up the slack when government is having some problems but people can actually improve on what government does from their own home.

Unfortunately there is still a lot of work to be done. (Also from Open Records) Jackson Township, PA has decided not to post meeting minutes online. I believe Board Chairman Dean Moyer summed it up when he said, “Moyer asked the audience if the township is really being run that badly that they need to request public documents. He then said that it is like his mother used to say that sometimes the less you know, the better off you are.”

I wonder if Mr. Moyer realizes that that statement makes me think that transparency is sourly needed in this town. The first thing that needs to happen is a much needed change of attitude.  Transparency should be something government does because it builds trust with citizens.  The Jackson Township should go out of its way to give information to the people they represent instead of making those same people jump through hoops.