This week is Sunshine Week. Attorney General Jay Nixon made a list of 10 things citizens should know about the Sunshine Law -
Top 10 things you should know about your Sunshine Law
1. When in doubt, a meeting or record of a public body should be opened to the public.
2. The Sunshine Law applies to all records, regardless of what form they are kept in, and to all meetings, regardless of the manner in which they are held.
3. The Sunshine Law allows a public body to close meetings and records to the public in some limited circumstances, but it almost never requires a public body to do so.
4. A public body generally must give at least 24 hours' public notice before holding a meeting. If the meeting will be closed to the public, the notice must state the specific provision of the law that allows the meeting to be closed.
5. Each public body must have a written Sunshine Law policy and a custodian of records whose name is available to the public upon request.
6. The Sunshine Law requires a custodian of records to respond to a records request as soon as possible but no later than three business days after the custodian receives it.
7. The Sunshine Law deals with whether a public body's records must be open to the public, but it generally does not state what records the body must keep or for how long. A body cannot, however, avoid a records request by destroying records after it receives a request for those records.
8. The Sunshine Law requires a public body to grant access to open records it already has, but it does not require a public body to create new records in response to a request for information.
9. When responding to a request for copies of its records, the Sunshine Law limits how much a public body can charge for copying and research costs.
10. There are special laws and rules that govern access to law enforcement and judicial records.
As America's we know that public disclosure is vital to democracy. Unlike repressive regimes that dictate what freedoms its citizens have and what types of information its citizens are allowed to retrieve and deliver. This is the school of Mao, the school of Stalin the school of Hitler and a school I hope our nation never attends.
Our country was founded on a free and open society, it's what our forefathers fought and died for and the only reason any military action is justifiable. We have a sacred responsibility to participate and ensure the transparency of our employees. Our employees, of course, are the leaders we elect. Let us not ever forget that. The moment we do we shame those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
When questions are raised regarding government transparency it's of great importance that our leaders respond.
Our economy is strongly dependent on the interests of churches and families. Whether or not their interests follow along any one man's particular ideologies this fact is hard to dispute. We have something special here and its why so many people come from around the nation and around the world.
Here in Branson, our light to the nation is the existence of a strong moral economy. Outside of this there is little special about Branson and little to ensure our future prosperity. We have a place you can go and not have to cover your children's eyes as you walk down the street. We have a place where national publication's surrender, "This is the way America ought to be".
I personally believe in our leaders and their ability to pass public scrutinization, which is why I believe they will act quickly to remedy any issues that are addressed in regards to the Sunshine law.
Actions are being taken to assist our governing bodies with tools which will assist them in bringing a greater level of visiblity.
As owners of the community it is our responsiblibity to have dialogue with our servants. It's also important that we shed light on business's and entities that threaten our economy.
We will have problems, every community does. It's the way we address these problems that defines our character. Much of this relies on our media and their willingness to shed light, "sunshine", on issues that exist in our backyard.
We, the media, should at all costs resist the temptation to cover up or protect ill will, criminal or psuedo-criminal behavior in the community. When we do so we reward darkness, disrespect the public and enable societies most hideous elements. This is of no favor to the community but rather a vote for the communities destruction.