I happened to read an article just a few moments ago on the Macon telegraph entitled Telegraph begins open government Push and I thought to myself, about damn time. Welcome to the fight. The article was actually published back on October 1 but I missed it until just now. Maybe they read my article called Death of the Fourth Estate and decided to start doing their job for a change. Although it is true I have written numerous articles featuring Charles Richardson and the HUGE conflict of interest with his wife and the editorials he wrote in support of Dallemand because of his wife’s job, I never had a problem with the newspaper as a whole. I think they have some good journalists and reporters there who quite frankly have their hands tied by a timid editor. I contacted the McClatchy executives in California and explained my assessment and they were very receptive. I have no idea if I got through to them or not and maybe this is purely coincidental but I welcome any positive changes nonetheless. You will forgive me if I remain skeptical for a while until I see evidence of this sudden change of heart.
I applaud your effort to join the fight and we in the community could use some allies. I would suggest if you truly want to show a good faith effort towards restoring your image you either fire Charles Richardson or move him to a completely separate department at the Telegraph where he can no longer influence discussions as they relate to the board of education or indeed any person or agency even remotely connected with the cabal which includes organizations involved with the Promise Neighborhood, 100 Black Men, the Macon-Bibb EOC, Patrick Milsaps, Cliffard Whitby, Industrial Authority, New Town Macon, and MATS. IF this poll is any indication I think you would have the support of the community in this decision.
Here on this site there is one menu item you may have missed which has some great resources. It is the Watchdog Link tab. On that page there is a link called
Open Georgia Salary and Travel expense Search
On that site you can find salaries for public employees all over the state including Bibb county. It is a little tricky to use, but under Salaries and Reimbursement click the small arrow that says CLICK HERE. From there choose the person, title, or organization you are searching. You might need to click an agreement screen prior to that step. For Bibb choose Organization then on the next screen choose the year then Local Boards of Education and select Bibb from the pull down menu. There is also a search window where you can search by name.
One of the commenters on the Telegraph article also asked for an article about how to conduct Open Record Requests. We have that covered as well.
This should provide pretty much all you need to know to at least get you started on the right path towards being informed citizens.
Are Georgia Sunshine Laws Under Assault?
That links includes some sample requests, some handbooks, some guides, an even a video by the AG’s office explaining what is and isn’t permitted under Georgia sunshine laws.
Macon Open Government Symposium Oct. 17 1
This also seems like a perfect time to remind people about the open government symposium. The Transparency Project of Georgia is a fantastic group that is trying to help fight corruption in Georgia. I encourage everyone interested in honest and transparent government to attend if at all possible.