Rianne Hawkins: Governments should not keep constituents in the dark

Thanks to Rianne Hawkins for the letter to the editor in the SJ-R on May 5, 2017.

Rianne writes, “…local government works best when the people it serves are actively involved… it is absolutely essential that we do everythign we can to foster civic engagement. Instead of limiting the ways in which people are notified of local government activities we should be striving to find new ways to expand them.

“… we must hold our City, county and various other local government bodies accountable when they disregard the open meetings and public records laws that are already on the books.”

Rianne mentions Illinois Senate Bill 2032, which would allow units of government to bypass publishing notices in local newspapers and, instead, post public notices on their own websites or on a state-run website. Currently newspapers post notices to the free website PublicNoticeIllinois.com.
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But with the action this week by the Springfield City Council, denying public input to hugely expanded Large Scale Developments with very limited notice to the public, Rianne’s message should be heard by our Aldermen and Mayor.

Thanks, Rianne, and everyone else who spoke out for citizens.