Democrats do not take full transparency seriously

The testy, defensive reaction of the Perry Township trustee to my press release in Herald-Times comments demonstrates that Democrats simply cannot be trusted to bring transparency into the 21st Century. Posting a paper copy at the township office is just not good enough. This is 2018, not 1995.

The incumbent Democrat trustee claims that the meeting notices fulfill the legal requirements for notifying the public. I do not doubt that is the case, but complying with the law’s minimum requirements is not enough when there is more than can be done to increase exposure of what township government is doing to the people who are paying the bills. There is no substantive argument against my proposal for more transparency.

I am disappointed that the incumbent Democrat trustee resorted to dishonesty in his response, asking if I am “a candidate with complaints and no plan.” This was in response to a press release in which I identified a problem and proposed a solution to the problem. I have a plan to increase transparency. The incumbent Democrat trustee is satisfied with the minimum requirements of the law.

The incumbent Democrat trustee was also disingenuous when responding to my point about meeting times. I pointed out that township board meetings take place during the work day, which is true according to the township’s own website. The incumbent Democrat trustee claimed what I said was “simply untrue” and then admitted my point when he said that the the meetings start between 4:15 and 4:30. This is during a normal 8 to 5 work day, which would require a taxpayer to take time off work to attend. That is an elitist response that does not indicate concern for transparency or allowing taxpayers to attend meetings.

This is not a new issue for me. I called for later meeting times for city government boards and commissions in 2015. I had a guest column in the Herald-Times calling on the county commissioners to move meetings – especially the biweekly county commissioners’ meetings – to after the end of the work day so taxpayers can attend the meetings to see what our employees our doing. That is exactly what city, county and township elected officials are: Our employees. They should make it easy for their employers to see what they are doing.

It is not 1995 any more. It is time for township government to move into 2018. That means everything the township does should be online – especially meeting times and agendas. That is what I have pledged to do if I am elected. If the Democrats took this issue seriously they would have fixed it years ago.