Letters to the Editor
The Star and the Spokesman Review recently published a news article and an editorial regarding Mayor Snow’s embarrassing position and belief paradigm regarding the public’s right to access the town’s records and documents. As it is, Snow considers and has openly stated, that (some) requests to review public records are harassment of the town and its officials. However, the preamble to the state’s Public Records Act differs. To wit: “The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments they have created...”
Additionally, we all expect the opportunity to participate … to ask questions, offer suggestions, and provide input to our elected officials during open-session council meetings. Yet recently, Mayor Snow enacted additional restrictions on our ability to do that by imposing further restrictions for public input and participation at council meetings.
These two attempts to cloud a transparent government actually are at odds with Mayor Snow’s concern for “his” clerk’s workload. If we are restricted from questioning our Town Council, the obvious solution is to request the public records that will provide the answer. His own policies have exacerbated his own problem! It is clear that those agencies promoting transparency and participation are less burdened by the Public Records Act. When any elected public official lobbies the Legislature to impose restrictions on our right of access, they are lobbying against those very folks that elected them.