Editorial: Transparency must top their actions

Apr. 27, 2013 @ 03:11 PM

North Carolinians want to know what their government is doing. Whether it is the City Council in Henderson, commissioners in Vance County, or any of the other municipalities and counties in the Tri-County, the people want to know.

If any of them are operating in the dark, hiding behind others or trying to swing deals they would not openly tell all of us about, the public has a right to know. Those are the elected leaders that should be roundly and soundly thrown out of office. No matter their past credentials, transparency in government is paramount to our communities having good government.

Political science professors will assure the levels of trust rapidly decrease as we leave the city limits. The most trusted in government are ones we see regularly in our community. That trust is not to be taken lightly or for granted by those elected. Sadly, it happens.

When it comes to Raleigh and the activities of our elected on Jones Street, our trust level decreases. And when it comes to Washington, D.C., we have even less confidence.

Think about it. What do the politicians in Washington do that bothers us so greatly? Among many things, they tack on pet projects to important bills. They vote based on getting a vote for something else.

Remember legislation to help after Hurricane Sandy?

We believe the increasing partisan divide in Raleigh and Washington would only enhance the 2011 numbers from an Elon University poll. The topic for questions was open government issues.

We as a state agreed, to the tune of 80 percent, that transparency is the key to fighting government corruption.

We as a state agreed, to the tune of 93 percent, that public hearings are essential for good government.

And we as a state, to the tune of 75 percent, believe governments naturally like to keep secrets from citizens.

It is mind-boggling to think some elected government officials, from here to either capitol, would not want to make every effort to have transparent movement for the citizenry they serve. But power corrupts, and they tend to forget who they serve.

Keep it in the open. And if and when a mistake is made, own it and admit it.