Government should be more like basketball teams!

Jay Nolan
Jay Nolan

What a great year for Kentucky Basketball! As I write this the Cats are a perfect 34-0 and headed into the NCAA tournament ranked #1 overall.  Even if you are not a sports fan, you have to appreciate how hard every player and coach has worked to do so well.

While I was watching Big Blue battle their way to the top of SEC tournament, a strange idea came to me.  What if our local city, county, state and even federal governments were more like our basketball teams?  Here’s what I mean.

Everything the Cats do is very visible and closely watched. Thousands of witnesses watch the games live, and millions more keep up with what is going on via the media.

Because they are doing the basics so well, working so hard and winning, the visibility really helps them gain respect, attract top talent, and develop a strong fan base.

I think it’s fitting we celebrate “Sunshine Week” the same week we post the NCAA tournament brackets. (See page B2 for the 2015 bracket in this week’s newspaper.)  Sunshine week runs from March 15-21, and celebrates the fact our state and local governments are required by law to be open and fully accessible to the media, and the public.

Like the Cats, if they are working hard, doing the right things well, and committed to “winning” for voters, I can’t see why any good government employee would want to hide their performance. Can you?

Yet, in almost every legislative session, there have been several different efforts to block this “Sunshine.”  Instead, of open meetings and open records, some agencies try to keep their actions hidden from the press and public. They suggest, “Let us just post things on the web for free.” They ask, “Why spend your tax dollars to print it in a newspaper?”

Well, read the brochure from this newspaper and the Public Notice Resource Center.

Then, make up your own mind.  Should newspapers publish public notices or not?

What do you think?