2018-03-14 / Opinion

Open Government The Best Government

In most cases, when workers receive their paychecks, the amount of money they are paid, and the amount on the actual check they receive, are not the same.

That’s because employers deduct a portion of the worker’s income, which is then forwarded to the government.

Each year, those who own property receive a bill based on their property values, which goes to the government.

Each time we make a purchase we pay a little extra, which gets sent to the government.

Government takes this money through taxation. Taxes pay for the things we can’t do for ourselves: maintain a military for common defense; develop and maintain roads, water, and wastewater systems; provide food and medical care for the poor. Those are just a few of the jobs government does.

Because we pay taxes we are, in effect, the government’s employer. Like any employer, we have a right to know what government is doing in our name, with our money.

That’s why we have laws such as the Freedom of Information Act, the Ohio Open Meetings Act, and the Ohio Public Records Act. These laws are to assure that those in government, at any level, can’t hide what they do.

These laws are called “sunshine laws,” because they (figuratively) allow the sun to shine in on the places where the business of government takes place.

This is Sunshine Week, the one week each year the press celebrates access to public information.

We in the media use the sunshine laws to look in on government, so we can tell you what your government is doing, good or bad.

Sunshine laws make government transparent to all.–corrected 10:34 am 3.14.18

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