Republicans lead the way on transparency

Bloomington Herald-Times, April 12, 2016 (Comments)

To the Editor:

If the county election board can commit to transparency and open government, why won’t the county commissioners do the same?

Monroe County Republican Party Chairman William Ellis moved in March that election board members have official county e-mail addresses, a motion that passed unanimously. Having official correspondence take place on the county’s official e-mail server and stored by county government expands transparency and enables easier Freedom of Information Act requests.

Unfortunately, county commissioners Pat Stoffers and Julie Thomas stubbornly use their personal e-mail addresses for county business. It is their personal e-mail addresses that are listed on the county website, not official county government e-mails.

Election Board members are paid a small stipend for their service. The commissioners earn a salary of $32,921.00 and $34,249.00 per year – more than many full-time county employees make! For that salary, why can’t the commissioners follow the same rules expected of county employees? The commissioners should be setting an example, as the county executives.

Remember, Julie Thomas is up for re-election this year.

Thanks to William Ellis for showing leadership, even in this small way.

The Democrats who serve as county commissioners should follow the Republican Party chairman’s lead on transparency and open government.