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Wesson gets an ‘F’ in government transparency

Public records are just that — public. But not every government body takes that fact as seriously as it should.

By law, most documents (there are exceptions) produced by any government agency are open to inspection by the public.

We requested pay information for all Wesson employees back in February. According to state law, the information is public and should be available for anyone to access.

But it took Wesson 20 days after we submitted the request to provide the information. State law gives public bodies up to seven working days to meet the request, and allows up to 14 days if there are agreed-upon circumstances that make it difficult to produce the records.

State law says: “in no event shall the date for the public body’s production of the requested records be any later than fourteen (14) working days from the receipt by the public body of the original request.”

We requested the information just to see how it easy it would be to get it — and it wasn’t easy. Again, state law says anyone should be able to obtain public information.

In this case, Wesson gets an “F” in government transparency. We expect better and we’re certain Wesson’s residents do as well.