2017-02-02 / Letters

Holding back information is not best practice

To the editor:

Imagine if your doctor told you that you would receive your health information on a need to know basis. What would that mean? Most likely, you would only be communicated to when the doctor deemed it necessary. “Necessary for whom?” you might ask.

What if your local government communicated in this manner too? Freedom of information would probably be hard to acquire. Property tax payers would be expected to pay their bill, but to actually find out how this money was being spent wouldn’t be easy for you to find or to understand. Ask a question and hope to get a clear answer. Speak your mind yet forever be labeled a nuisance.

Transparency is easily defined as being frank, obvious and readily understood. It is further characterized by visibility or accessibility of information. Transparency is what the public expects from their city officials and city documents. Adherence to code, charter and law is not something done only when necessary by those who respect the public that they serve.

Saco Citizens for Sensible Government has been working for five years to ensure transparency within Saco’s governmental processes is meaningful for everyone. We want to help our city council and city departments understand what will set the tone for positivity as our community grows and becomes ever more business friendly. We understand that there are times when best practices must use discretion. However, we believe that holding back relevant information during the process of making a city council decision is self serving and not in the best interest of our community. The health of Saco depends on close scrutiny of practices and budgets. Let’s work together and be the epitome of, “Dirigo.”

Please visit our website, sacocitizensforsensiblegovernment@gmail.com, to learn about Saco Citizens for Sensible Government and find out about meetings.

John Harkins, chairman Saco Citizens for Sensible Government

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