Sunday, March 18, 2007

Open records online

Interesting discussion's going on in the Brick forum over at, where a lot of people seem to want the Brick Board of Education to use its Web site to post the complete budget plan projected to raise the tax rate more than 6 cents per $100 assessed property value.

... So you can invent these false paradigms that if only we all weren't too lazy to find out the real numbers or too dumb to understand them, we'd know everything's fine, move along, nothing to see here. This has been an excuse used for decades, but with the advent of the www, it doesn't fly ANYMORE. If the board were honest, it would have posted the complete budget online the same day the board introduced it. It has not. It is tacitly denying us the right to review the full budget, ask relevant questions and make useful comments on it.
Another poster gave links to two other school districts that do just that, is Fairfax County, Va., and here is the Illinois State School Board.

I think they raise good points. Why don't our school boards, municipalities and county and state government, for that matter, post pdf files of their budget proposals and video of all public sessions at their Web sites?

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