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Category: Open Government

Lyons: Manatee School Board sin? Secrecy, not rift

Some Manatee County School Board members and the superintendent are embarrassing themselves, some people say, by having a public rift at a time when unity is really needed. But since when is disagreement embarrassing, especially when the issue is budget cuts and teacher pay, a matter of obvious public interest? Too many unanimous votes make…
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Letter: Above-the-law attitude characteristic of Port St. Lucie regime

Joe Edge, Port St. Lucie Letter: Above-the-law attitude characteristic of Port St. Lucie regime Leadership. It’s what Port St. Lucie desperately needs and has yet to find. With the changes in the upper management over the past few years — city manager, mayor and police chief — one would have thought that residents would have…
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St. Lucie Public Schools web site earns national award for transparency

FORT PIERCE — St. Lucie Public Schools is one of only 13 public school districts in Florida to be recognized as providing one of the most transparent websites in the nation by the editors of Sunshine Review, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to government transparency, with their third annual Sunny Awards. The award, which honors the…
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Letter: Term limits best way to deal with unaccountable Florida lawmakers

Pat Phoenix, Jensen Beach Letter: Term limits best way to deal with unaccountable Florida lawmakers Thanks to Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, for his efforts to bring insurance payments by elected offices more in line with what the real world has to fork over. What angers me, beside his bill being voted down, is that the vote…
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OUR VIEW: Public meetings aren’t courts of law

At a recent St. Johns County Commission meeting on a land-use issue, a request was made by the project’s attorneys to cross-examine citizen speakers about their comments. Wisely, the request was not pursued after a “sidebar” discussion with county officials. Good for them. This was a rezoning hearing where anyone can comment to the commission…
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Citizen power starts with knowledge

ames Madison succinctly described the importance of an informed electorate: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” This is also a call for government transparency, as only voters informed in how their government works can effectively use the…
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How Public Records Laws Allow the Miami Herald to Serve You

Without open meetings and accessible records, we’d all be in the dark. BY AMINDA MARQUES GONZALEZ AMARQUES@MIAMIHERALD.COM We simply couldn’t tell the stories readers count on us to report without Florida’s public records and open meetings laws, among the strongest in the country. Our journalists rely on these laws daily, whether attending a municipal meeting…
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Sunshine Week: A commitment to open government

Posted: March 8, 2012 | Tags: Sunshine Week Next week is Sunshine Week, designed to bring attention to the merits and benefits of having an open government. The main sponsors of the week are the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In some ways, it is bittersweet to have…
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Florida capital briefs: Open records bill goes to Gov. Scott

The Legislature today passed a measure (SB 1305) that spells out that governors-elect and other newly elected but not in office Cabinet members must abide by the same open record laws they will have to adhere to once they are sworn in. Further the law requires that after taking office, the governor or Cabinet member…
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Make a Difference: Support the First Amendment

JOE SAUNDERS’S BLOG | Posted: March 8, 2012 7:20 PM The First Amendment Foundation has issued an email blast asking supporters to contact legislative leaders to demand passage of a Senate bill that guarantees the right of Floridians to speak at public meetings of their city councils, school boards, county commissions and before any other elected…
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