Becoming Transparent

Becoming Transparent PictureST. JOHNSBURY- In government, the ultimate boss is the public. Secretary of State Jim Condos let that be known last night at the St.Johnsbury Middle School, as he went over the open meetings laws and public records laws in the State of Vermont.



The presentation was apart of the 2017 transparency tour, where Condos and other Vermont legislature members visit 15 locations across the state of Vermont to discuss transparency and open government.

"We started this back in 2011 because the distrust in government has been growing over time," said Condos.

"We felt it was important to focus on transparency and the open meeting laws because of that."

The first part of the presentation noted that the public has a right to know what's going on in their local government. Open meeting and public records laws protect the people's access to the decisions that affect the public.

"We had some new information that came up," said Condos.

"A few of the laws had changed. We wanted to clarify what it means to post your minutes within 5 days."

Deputary Secretary of State, Chris Winters, explained that the presentation wasn't just for local citizens, but local municipalities as well.

"This is not a statutory obligation or anything that's official in our job descriptions," said Winters.

"But we get a lot of calls from concerned citizens, or even select board members who wonder what their duties are under the law."

Condos also referred to the growth of technology in his presentation.

"Going forward, technology can be our friend, it also can be our enemy. It's difficult, because government moves so slowly, while technology moves so fast.

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