June 22, 2010

The Good and The Bad

At TransparentNevada we believe that good behavior deserves to be recognized. For that reason, we wanted to take a moment and thank all the jurisdictions around the state that complied with our records requests in a timely manner.

First up is the Washoe County School District, which really seems to understand the need for open government. Emphasis mine:

Washoe County school officials agreed and said that they were willing to provide the information.

"We gave them the same things as we gave the Reno Gazette-Journal," district spokesman Steve Mulvenon said in reference to newspaper's recent look at public employee salaries.

Mulvenon said Superintendent Heath Morrison notified employees in a newsletter that the request was routine and a matter of public record.

"In fact, when we were done, his question was why wasn't all this on our website anyway," he said.

"I think there is a strong likelihood this will happen," Mulvenon said. "The bottom line is that these are the taxpayers dollars, and they deserve to know were they are being spent and how they are being spent."

Additionally, the counties of Douglas, Humboldt and Clark, the cities of Las Vegas and Henderson and the LVCVA were all very helpful and timely in their responses to our requests.

On the other hand, the counties of Storey, Pershing, Lincoln and Mineral never provided us with the information we requested. Nye County insisted we pay up to $3,000 to obtain their payroll information.

It is dispiriting that some jurisdictions think they are not bound by the law and continue to stonewall our efforts.

But nevertheless thank you to those groups that were helpful and we will continue to apply pressure to the groups that weren't. It will take time, but the idea of open government will win.