Make government tell you what it’s doing
Trejbal is an editorial writer based in the New River Valley.
It’s Sunshine Week again, the annual celebration of the public’s right to know what government does.
I suspect when most people think about the Freedom of Information Act, they think about accessing government documents.
They remember stories of both journalists and average citizens wielding the law to request information government officials might prefer the public not know about because it is embarrassing, reveals waste or brings light to malfeasance.
Virginia’s FOIA promises something else, too, a second prong of open government. Government meetings, with few exceptions, must be open to the public in the commonwealth. Citizens have a right to know when a town council or board of supervisors will meet, what its members will discuss and, most important, the right to attend.