• Transparency in Government

    March 21, 2024
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    The burden placed upon a free people who choose their own leaders is the responsibility to be vigilant stewards of the treasured liberties which were won for us by those who founded our country. This means we, the electorate, are duty-bound to make sure those to whom we have granted power are abusing neither power nor the public funds. It is necessary therefore to maintain a certain amount of transparency in the processes of government. As we know, in the last few years, many operations of our government which we once took for granted as functioning on behalf of, and for the good of, the people, have become muddied, requiring extensive investigations while provoking both confusion and lack of confidence in the system.

    It is good, therefore, to hear of SB 1052 sponsored by Senator Johnny Mautz (District 37) and cross-filed as HB 1222 by Delegate Chris Adams (District 37B). SB 1052/ HB 1222 will require the county Boards of Elections to publish and store all of the data, documents and reports generated in the administration of the official duties related to all elections. Such transparency should insure fair and uncompromised elections.

    Also to be commended is Senator Benjamin Brooks (D-Baltimore County) who is sponsoring SB 1026, cross-filed with HB1115, called the “Transparency in Education Spending Act” because citizens have a right to know how their tax money is being spent. According to the Maryland General Assembly the “Transparency in Education Spending Act”:

    Requiring the State Board of Education to adopt a process for the uniform and timely reporting of certain county board of education budget information to a county governing body; requiring a county board to post certain information in a certain manner on the county board's website; requiring a certain transfer to be made only following the approval of the county commissioners or county council; providing for exemptions from certain requirements related to certain transfers; etc.

    It is heartening to know that in Maryland we have elected officials on both sides of the aisle who are working for transparency in government. We are citizens, not serfs; we have not only the right to know but the duty to discover and observe how our country and our state are being run.



    Mary-Eileen Russell

    Mary-Eileen Russell grew up in the countryside outside of Frederick, Maryland, "fair as the garden of the Lord" as the poet Whittier said of it. She graduated in 1984 from Hood College in Frederick with a BA in Psychology, and in 1985 from the State University of New York at Albany with an MA in Modern European History. She is the author of six books under the pen name of "Elena Maria Vidal." She lives in Talbot County, MD with her family.
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