A New Mexico water commission yesterday decided to go forward with a plan to divert thousands of acre-feet of water from the Gila River, despite complaints by activists that it violated open meetings laws.Continue reading
Not only can open data and FOI disclosure efforts work symbiotically, they can also learn from each others’ shortcomings, and in many instances meet each other in the middle to create more robust disclosure.Continue reading
There are an increasing number of tools governments can use to help bolster open meetings with open data.Continue reading
For open meetings laws to live up to their full potential, they need to reflect the opportunities provided by recent advances in technology.Continue reading
States have complex levels of authority over municipalities, but that doesn't stop cities from crafting transparency reforms that lead locally and could impact state operations, too.
This week, Atlanta proved to be a great example of such leadership. The city council unanimously approved an amendment to the open meetings ordinance making it stronger than the language of Georgia's state law.
The events leading up to this change are explained in this story by Matthew Charles Cardinale of Atlanta Progressive News. Cardinale helped draft and push for the legislation after filing a lawsuit challenging closed-door sessions of city council committee meetings. Cardinale argued that there was case law, decided by the Court of Appeals of Georgia, supporting his position that even some meetings without a quorum of members have to be open to the public. State law only explicitly states that meetings with a quorum have to be open.Continue reading
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog. Jason Mercier is the Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center. He is also a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute's Budget & Tax News, a columnist for Northwest Daily Marker, a contributing author at State Budget Solutions, serves on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, and was an advisor to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee. In 1972, Washington State voters overwhelmingly enacted Initiative 276, providing citizens with access to most records maintained by state and local government. The new law created the Public Records Act (PRA). The preamble to the PRA says: “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created.Continue reading
In Georgia, Cumming Mayor Ford Gravitt removed citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale from a recent public meeting. Georgia Attorney General Sam... View ArticleContinue reading
The Salt Lake Tribune covered a University of Utah honors class project: developing a set of five guiding principles to help... View ArticleContinue reading
Last week, due to Veterans Day we were unable to publish the weekly roundup. Here is what you missed in... View ArticleContinue reading