‘Here comes the sun’ moments in government

Edgar's picture

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo) Here comes the sun, and I say it’s all right

George Harrison’s song of spring is a fitting start to my Sunshine Week salute to everyday heroes bringing light to local government.

“Why do you want to know that?” is a question most reporters have heard when asking for public documents. It generally becomes a Freedom of Information teaching moment from the journalist to the reluctant keeper of records.

Many years ago, I was covering a county commission meeting when a department head stood to speak. Before addressing commissioners, he turned to a radio reporter next to me and gruffly ordered him to turn off his tape recorder.

Say what?! We insisted my friend had every right to tape comments at a public meeting, but it took a while to convince the surly official. He clearly didn’t know the first thing about open meeting laws.

It goes with the territory. The press must sometimes teach Sunshine 101 to public officials on Main Street, U.S.A. This column recognizes some of those public servants and intrepid reporters with symbolic citations from my Sunshine Week playlist.

 

 

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition https://www.etypeservices.com/Timber%20Lake%20TopicID443/

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet