Editorial: Public records should be public

Published: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 03:35 PM.

And, stories that followed from the Wilson Times detailed how two other Middlesex residents canceled their requests for public records when informed of the potential costs of requesting public information.

This is wrong. Charging for such services does nothing but restrict the flow of public information, information that every citizen has a right to see and has paid for. Government should not be in the business of restricting public information. Government should be a willing partner with residents to make sure it is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

Charging $415 to see some emails hardly seems like a partnership. It hints at a government that is trying to hide something from its citizens.

This is Sunshine Week, an event designed to stress the importance of the public’s right to access public information. And, it goes beyond just a few emails. It’s about understanding how the government is spending your tax money and why.

And we don’t think you should have to pay to have that knowledge. The information, like the sunshine itself, should be free.

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