Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

December 20, 2013

OUR VIEW: Open door policy best for public, government

Before Jan. 1, we’ll be sending letters to the many government agencies and schools in our coverage area with requests for planned meeting places in 2014.

We won’t be alone in doing so either. We’ll be joined by hundreds of newspapers across the state.

Why?

It’s all part of the Indiana Open Door Law.

Aimed at keeping the public informed of what its government is doing, the law requires governmental agencies to notify the public of when meetings are to be held. Newspapers play a part in this process as well. That’s where the letters come in. We send the letters to let these governmental agencies know we want to inform our readers of their planned meetings.

It’s something newspapers do every year. It’s something we do with purpose and conviction.

It’s not something we do just be annoying or because we’re nosy. We do it for you, the reader and the taxpayer. Why? Because it’s your government and you should know what it’s doing. If you want to break it down to the real nitty gritty, it’s your money they’re spending.

We publish a list of upcoming public meetings every day in the paper. You’ll find them on Page A3 at the bottom of the right rail. We print them so you can play your part in local government. One way you can do that is by actually attending those public meetings.

We are able to offer this public service because governmental agencies comply with the law, which requires 48-hour notice. In fact, we have found that many more than comply with the law. We haven’t even sent out the letters and have already received the 2014 meeting dates for some agencies.

We think they do this because they not only understand the letter of the open door law, they understand the spirit of it as well. The law isn’t meant to be a “gotcha!” set of requirements that pits media and governmental agencies against one another. Rather, it’s meant to lay the groundwork for a cohesive relationship that allows the public to come out as the winner.

So whether you receive the letter as a representative of the governmental agency or are reading the public notice in the paper, know we do this every year for all involved. We are at our best — journalists and government alike — when we conduct business out in the open.

THE ISSUE Indiana Open Door Law. OUR VIEW

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Sandra Stotsky STOTSKY: The next step redux in education standards Writing at National Review Online, Rick Hess and Mike McShane of the American Enterprise Institute make the complaint that critics of Common Core have not come up with the next steps to "repeal and replace" for states that want to restore academic in

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WILLIAMS: Get out on the highway My son's truck is in the shop and my friend, Jan, was in the hospital so I had her truck in order to be able to go feed her cats while John used my car to go to work. Jan and I both purchased vehicles before we retired that we hoped would be the last

    April 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana needs open primary elections Indiana's primary election system is dysfunctional. What the state really needs is an open primary system. This month, the Lake County election board argued about the procedures for recruiting high school students as poll workers for the May 6 primar

    April 23, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Tax bills show what smoke & mirrors don't There's a price to be paid for the decline in what we call civic engagement -- and local property taxpayers are paying that price. In case you haven't received your 2014 Cass County property tax statement yet, be prepared for a bit of sticker shock w

    April 23, 2014

  • MARCUS: Illinois brings joy to Indiana From the email this week, I sensed a profound need by Hoosiers to find joy in the problems of Illinois. Our neighbors to the west are fighting their way through a mess of their own making. They have forced themselves to raise taxes and cut services t

    April 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Let voters weigh option of easing daily commute There was a time in this country when workers typically lived less than an hour's walk from their jobs. A time when a "commuter" was simply a traveler taking advantage of a reduced railway fare on his way to the big city. A time when the American sub

    April 22, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Wait a minute here — what did I just sign? When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud o

    April 22, 2014

  • LYONS: How we devalued the 'R' word At the risk of angering somebody like MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry, I sometimes used to joke that I only look white. Actually, I'm Irish. Meaning basically that I wasn't raised to think the man in the big house had all the answers, nor deserved all t

    April 21, 2014

  • HAYDEN: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation

    April 21, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any

    April 20, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.