Ballot do-over

In the wake of the court ruling that the ballot language on two referendums deviated way too far from what the electorate approved, tantamount to editorializing, the city council has been forced to conduct a public hearing. A look at the agenda will make it clear that most of the special meeting will consist of behind-closed-doors conferences with legal counsel. Nonetheless, if you’re tired of being given the runaround at city hall, if you don’t understand why there’s not even a complete city telephone directory on line, or if you’ve ever made a public information request (open records request) and been furnished with information that you know for a fact is incomplete, you’re probably someone interested in the proposed open-government charter amendment.

Proponents of the public-information proposal contest the alleged costliness of opening more on-line information to the citizenry. Nearly all documents originate electronically anyhow these days and are stored on servers. Maybe there’s a concern about cleansing Word documents of the meta-information that shows how many writers went into producing a document and who they are.

Those with an opinion but who are not able to appear personally at Monday’s council meeting are reminded of the all-council e-mail option. Even though there’s only ever one councilmember who ever acknowledges or responds, tallies of opinions are kept and do to some extent guide council actions.

On-lne information includes the pro-charter-amendment perspective and whatever ammunition in opposition the local daily has seen fit to print. Nobody needs to love the Save Barton outfit to want more transparency in government.

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