published Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Express yourself on keeping public notices easily available

Dear readers:

Several state legislators and local government officials from this area have proposed removing public and legal notices from this and other newspapers. This is a direct attack on transparency and accountability, and would foster government secrecy.

The proposal would allow local governments to post important notices on their own websites. Readers without Web access would be kept in the dark about public meetings, zoning changes, budget hearings, foreclosures and more. You readers with Internet access would be forced to sift through multiple websites to find notices that easily can be hidden deep within those websites. In addition, the legislation does not guarantee that public and legal notices would be posted during the timeframes proscribed by law, or that they would not be altered after the fact to comply with applicable laws.

The AARP, a seniors advocacy group that represents 40 million Americans ages 50 and older, is against efforts to remove public and legal notices from newspapers. That's because many of their members don’t have computers.

The ability to hold our government officials accountable is at stake here. If you agree, we ask that you e-mail these elected officials by clicking here and ask them to vote against any such legislation. Or click here for contact information to write letters to your legislative leaders.
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