Showing posts with label sunshine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunshine. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

In the News: Sunshine Week articles and links to be aware of

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"We’ve become so accustomed to frequently and easily accessing information on demand — from more sources and in more forms than at any other time in history — that it’s easy to forget how quickly our information landscape has evolved and what that evolution means for us as individuals, as news consumers and as participants in a democracy. 
It can also be easy to forget how much the information we choose to read, watch and hear really matters. It’s the basis for many of the decisions we make — for ourselves, for our families and for our civic society. It helps us determine the kind of lives we lead, the social and political structures we want to change or preserve and the kind of world we inhabit. It is the very foundation of both personal empowerment and a robust democracy. 
To be meaningfully engaged with the world around us, we must be informed. But what does that mean in an age of information overload in which so much “content” isn’t what it appears to be? How, in other words, can we know what to believe?"

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

“All politics is local.” This famous quote by Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and proud son of Massachusetts, is used so often that it often seems cliché. But its frequent usage underscores the profound truth that drives decisions made by those in government, whether it be at city or town hall, the state house or the U.S. Capitol, and even the White House. 
In this regard it is critical that citizens feel empowered, and in fact encouraged, to communicate with their elected and appointed officials utilizing both traditional and new, innovative means of communication. 
The advent of social media has impacted every sector of society, with both positive and negative consequences. The internet and the explosive expansion of the use of handheld devices and tablets have facilitated new means of communication and commerce. People now email and text much more frequently, reducing the utilization of landline telephones at home or work. This technology has lowered the cost of entry into sectors of the economy and created new, disruptive businesses such as Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and Venmo, a mobile payment service."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Want to be a more informed and engaged citizen? Here are suggested websites: 
U.S. Congress: Members of Congress and tracking legislation, 
Watch live and video of the Senate, and the House, at 
Federal Election Commission: Campaign financing in federal elections, including how much campaigns are raising and spending, and who’s contributing, 
Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance: Campaign financing in state and local elections, how much campaigns are raising and spending, and who’s contributing,"

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

screen grab of  The News Literacy Project
screen grab of  The News Literacy Project

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Let the sun shine!

We have one entry thus far with multiple questions around substitute pay:
How much total pay is made to substitute techers. I was surprised to see the number of substitue people and some of the amounts are pretty high. Are teachers paid straight salary? How is leave handled? Is excessive teachers absence accounted for?

This query was sent to School Administration late Friday. With the School Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, I would expect to have an answer posted no later than Wednesday.

If you have a question on how Franklin spends its money, ask and we'll find out. The form to ask your question can be found at the top of the center column or by following this link.

More about Sunshine Week - a national initiative to highlight open government, freedom of information, and transparency can be found here.

Franklin, MA

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunshine Week

While many public officials are hesitant to share information about what the government is doing, what many Americans don't realize is that the business of public officials is highly accessible, especially when it comes to how taxpayers' dollars are spent.

To raise such awareness, the Daily News is participating in Sunshine Week, an annual project aimed at creating awareness about freedom of information and government secrecy.

A Daily News reporter hand-delivered written public record requests to several Milford and MetroWest town officials last month, asking for each one's three most recent town-issued cell phone bills.

How did Franklin fare?

Franklin Police Chief Stephen Williams also refused to provide complete bills.

Franklin Town Attorney Mark Cerel wrote a letter on Williams' behalf, explaining he would provide general billings, but not an itemized record.

"Public safety and security and personal privacy interests preclude making any of the records available," wrote Cerel. "There is a significant risk that he would inadvertently disclose an exempt telephone number in reviewing a high volume of calls, thereby creating a public safety and/or security risk or a personal privacy violation."

The town later provided general billings of all townwide-issued cell phones, which includes Williams' phone, free of charge. Franklin pays about $3,000 each month for all town employees' cell phones.

Read the full article in the Milford Daily News here.

This is a nice attempt to participate in "sunshine week". Rather than make an issue on the phone numbers themselves, I'd have preferred an analysis of the kinds of coverage the phones have.

Do they have basic phone service or a higher level of service?

Then you could have a discussion on what level of phone service is appropriate by department for a local community to provide.