11 December 2009

Cheering for Open Hearings in San Jose

The Merc issued a smart editorial today demanding that arbitration hearings that affect taxpayer money should be opened to the public.

I cheered them on, with the below statement.  Enjoy.

Access to the public is exactly appropriate for any arbitration hearing that affects the public's money. We should go further, however, and demand that all negotiations that affect public funds, such as those highlighted by Councilman Oliverio, should be recorded and made public after a suitable embargo period. This embargo would allow negotiators enough latitude to propose compromises, while remaining eventually accountable to their constituents–whether union members, shareholders, or voters. Even India, with some of the worst corruption in the world, has implemented their Right to Information act, putting similar information into the public domain after 30 days. Democracy only works when our right to know is respected. It is ridiculous that our access to information is worse than India's. Kohl S. Gill Sunnyvale
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