Supervisor Neil Derry
Posted: 09/27/2010 06:41:12 PM PDT

It was never by design that our government should acquire power and dominion over the people. The people sought to empower themselves by giving life to government to serve their purposes and needs.

Nowadays, in nearly every instance it seems that the interests of the people are subjugated to bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers and a cadre of special interest groups. The average person feels that the system is skewed against them. They believe that rules are applied selectively and that some people have more rights than others.

I sought public office to return power and a semblance of sanity to the people. I successfully rolled back the benefits packages the Board of Supervisors voted for themselves prior to my being elected. I voluntarily placed all credit card statements and staff expenses, receipts and reimbursements on my website for the public to view and analyze.

And it is in this vein that I am bringing my Sunshine Ordinance before the Board of Supervisors today.

Effective government simply cannot exist without an informed electorate and the electorate must have access to public documents and a fully detailed disclosure of how their tax dollars are being spent. The right of the people to be fully apprised of all expenditures is sacrosanct and one that must be staunchly defended.

This taxpayer protection is incorporated within this Sunshine Ordinance and prevents elected and public officials from hiding this information by citing the “deliberative process” privilege. This means that all receipts, reimbursements and other expenditures will be fully disclosed with only the redaction of personal information so as to prevent identity fraud.

I have been advised that this clause may be challenged on legal grounds and that elected or public officials are afforded the “deliberative process” privilege. To that I say, the courts exists for a reason. The public has the right to know this information and it should be incumbent upon public officials objecting to this provision to pursue the matter in court, not the people.

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