• Let the Sunshine In!
    posted by Mike McClellan at 31 January, 4:47 PM  0 
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    No, not the Fifth Dimension song (ugh!).  The bill proposed to bring sunshine to union negotiations (you can read about it here).

    According to the article, “HB 2330 would expand the state’s Open Meeting Law which generally requires public bodies to discuss their business in the open to include any discussion of salaries and fringe benefits between a representative of a public body and any agent or officers of an employee organization. It would not matter whether there was a quorum of an elected council present — or even if a council member was there at all.”

    Says the sponsor of the bill, Steve Montenegro (Republican of Litchfield Park): 

    “There’s no reason why taxpayers should be kept in the dark,” he said, particularly since the closed-door talks eventually will lead to how public dollars are spent.

    “We are asking that the taxpayers be given a seat at the table,” he said. “If you’re big enough to spend the taxpayers’ dollars, you’re big enough to be transparent and accountable.”

    Great idea.  But I’d like to add an amendment.

    Call it “Let the Sunshine In!” clause.

    Which would require any budget negotiations between the Governor and the legislature to be open to the public.  As well as any budget negotiations within the legislature.

    After all, “If you’re big enough to spend the taxpayers’ dollars, you’re big enough to be transparent and accountable.”

    We taxpayers shouldn’t be “kept in the dark.”

    So come on, Rep. Montenegro, let the sunshine in!


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    Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.


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