May 11, 2010


Vermont ranks 25th among states on sunshine laws. There are 231 exceptions to our Right to Know law. Executive Sessions, once rare, now appear to be common place. Vermont needs a Secretary of State who will motivate the legislature to restore transparency to government. 

Advocate urges stronger sunshine laws in Vt.: Times Argus Online

May 29, 2010 ...By   By JOHN CURRAN Associated Press
Vermont, in particular, is lax on providing the tools for such reporting, Vermont Press Association Executive Director Michael Donoghue told the group.

The state's right-to-know law has 231 exemptions in it, and no enforcer, official or ombudsman to go to when public officials violate it, he said. Some states impose fines or jail time on public officials who violate open records laws.

"It's the only law in Vermont that I know of that has nobody enforcing what the Legislature has passed," said Donoghue.

In Burlington we are increasingly concerned about transparency in government on the local level. We rightly want to know how our tax dollars are being spent, what permits are being issued, and what decisions are being made on our behalf. Burlington doesn't have town meetings where we participate actively in the democratic process, so the best way to keep tabs on city government is by attending public meetings, watching CCTV, asking lots of questions, and scrutinizing public records.

Like the Zoning Activity Report: