Candidates promise transparency; good, because we don’t have it right now

  • Mountain Legend
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Flume editor created the topic: Candidates promise transparency; good, because we don’t have it right now 03 Feb 2018 07:05 #1

I’ve been very interested in the recent rush of candidates for the office of Park County sheriff. In my opinion, one of the most important campaign promises that any of these candidates could make would be to recognize that they have a public duty to share information with the residents of the county.

I’ve been working at The Flume for a bit over four years. And during that time I have seen our Sheriff’s Office slowly, but surely, dial back on the information that they release to our newspaper and to the public in general.

And I’m not just talking about information that would put the office in a negative light or a compromising position. Even positive actions by deputies and the department, actions that would highlight how they work hard to protect and serve the county, have been withheld.

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  • Mountain Champion
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ScienceChic replied the topic: Candidates promise transparency; good, because we don’t have it right now 03 Feb 2018 08:45 #2

Thank you Walter for touching on what I agree is one of our most important issues in this upcoming election (frankly not just at the local level, but that's for a separate discussion).

Flume editor" wrote: There is a huge groundswell of people who have had it with being ignored and at times, downright lied to. As part of my job at the newspaper, I keep in touch with the pulse of the community, and I can honestly tell you, many have had it, not only with the secrecy of the Sheriff’s Office, but with behind-the-scenes machinations of our Board of County Commissioners.

My question to all of the candidates running for open seats in this election cycle, “Will you promise to communicate honestly, in an effort to let the community know what their county government is doing to responsibly carry out its public duty?”

Our responsibility as voters is to keep informed of what our representatives are doing and to hold them accountable for their decisions, and actions. Our nation as a whole has a very unfavorable opinion of our elected leaders (Congress's approval rating is horrible and has been for many, many years) and it should not be that way. We feel they are out of touch with us and do not do as their constituents wish. We are tired of the lack of communication.

It's not normally as bad at the local level, but Park County seems to be an exception. It's incumbent upon us to get involved, but even more so for our leaders to make the effort to engage and listen to us. I have invited all of the candidates running to set up accounts here (and all of our existing ParkCo leaders as well, for that matter, on multiple occasions) on My Mountain Town and to date, only one has done so. One. (Thank you April Dawn Knudsen, running for Park County Commissioner District 3).

I am throwing out a personal challenge that if these candidates truly wish to engage with their constituents, they will step up their game - they need to be where the community is, and that includes us, PC, NextDoor, and Facebook. Just setting up accounts is not enough, they need to use them. They should be doing as many meet n greets as they can fit in to get to know the people they will serve, and make answering people's emails and phone calls a priority.

Does this mean that I think we are entitled to know everything? Certainly not. There is information that is sensitive and must be withheld during investigations in order to not compromise catching suspects, and to protect victims' privacy. But one need only look to Jefferson County to see how much better it can be done. The people of Park County deserve that.

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. ~Winston Churchill

Your scars exist, but it’s your courage that defines you. ~Nalini Singh
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