Dark spots linger in access to public meetings, records in Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow

pots of shade shroud transparency in Ohio amid the start of Sunshine Week, a national observance stressing the importance of public records and open meetings in a democracy.

As evidenced by court complaints and findings — such as city council members illegally “meeting” via text messages — government officials do not always respect both the law and the public’s right to know.

Still, all told, the strength of Ohio’s public records and open meetings laws granting Ohioans oversight of their government still are considered among of the best in the nation…

Yost, who first learned the value of governmental transparency as a newspaper reporter, was quick as Delaware County prosecutor and as state auditor to denounce efforts to evade Sunshine laws. He now has an even bigger pulpit.

“A people is only as free as the flow of information about their government,” Yost said. “Without open meetings and public records, we have no way of knowing what our government is up to — and the government will then belong to the politicians, not the people.”

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