Open Records Are Not Optional

Editors of The Morning Call criticize Allentown mayor Ed Pawlowski for attempting to keep the cost of police contract negotiations secret despite the city’s home rule charter which specifically states all contracts shall be available for public inspection. The Morning Call writes,

“But he [the mayor] was wrong to believe that the public’s right to know is optional or a protection in force only when he says so.”

Sacrificing transparency for the sake of strategy fuels bloated benefit packages and inflated salaries among union employees, which in turn jeopardize the profitability of the entire business (i.e. the auto industry and the UAW). While not specifically designed for municipal police negotiations, SchoolBoardTransparency highlights some of the best practices in regards to public transparency in school board negotiations.

Transparency actually discourages wasteful spending, the sunshine review has numerous stories explaining the benefits of open government. Kudos to The Morning Call for pointing out that transparency is not a matter of convenience.