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Everyone urged to be active and informed

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

To the Editor:

An informed citizenry is essential to our democracy. To function effectively, citizens need access to government boards and records.

An Oklahoma Court decision in 1978 (Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys v. State) explains why open meetings and access to public records are important: "If an informed citizenry is to meaningfully participate in government or at least understand why government actions affecting their daily lives are taken, the process of decision making as well as the end results must be conducted in full view of the governed."

At a recent Greencastle School Board meeting there was a discussion about three formal complaints that I filed with the Indiana Public Access

Counselor. I did not take these actions frivolously. Before each complaint was filed, I tried to communicate my concerns with board members and the school superintendent. Each complaint had merit and they can be reviewed by searching "advisory opinions" at www.in.gov/pac.

The continued health of our governmental institutions requires that as citizens we ask questions, request records and attend meetings without feeling bullied or intimidated.

I encourage everyone to become active and informed participants in our local democracy.

Leslie Hanson

Greencastle