Not all government is secretive

Published on April 18, 2017 2:23PM


I am responding to your editorial of April 12 in which you write that the Malheur Enterprise was denied records regarding the mental health or lack of mental health of a fellow who killed two people after the Security Review Board released him.

Because we are a country of government of the people, for the people and by the people, you are doing your part as a citizen to point out a perceived wrong committed by this board. I commend you for that.

As I see it, you are right to say that taxpayers will be footing the bill for the Security Review Board suit against the newspaper that asked for the records. It is your citizenship duty to point out this incident that you believe is wrong.

You are right to point out that information held by government agencies should be transparent. When citizens, especially newspapers, are aware of a wrong taking place, it is the right thing to do to object and work toward correcting that wrong.

In these things mentioned in your editorial, I have no objection, and I believe you are doing as you should by pointing them out.

In your editorial, you extend this incident to imply that the government in general has “become more aggressive about shutting down public record releases” and you talk about “brazen attempts of government agencies to obscure the truth.” You are insinuating that these “brazen attempts” of “shutting down” happen throughout the government. Because you give only this one example, it is possible that you are obscuring the truth by generalizing too much?

Every example of government wrong doing should be made transparent; but in doing so, please do not besmirch all of the good people in government who are working hard to do what we the people have asked of them.

It is important to recognize that the cemetery board, the city and county workers, the hospital employees, the school employees and all of the boards that oversee them are government workers. In fact, we citizens are the government in this country; and when we carry out our citizenship responsibilities, government will be better.

Evelyn Swart

Joseph



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