Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Transparency lets the light in on you too

Although I've been writing about this from the perspective of someone who is (perhaps overly) gleeful to see Stacy Head embarrassed, I actually agree with David's concerns here.

The idea that private citizens who contact their public servants with their concerns automatically expose themselves to the same sort of scrutiny we apply to the public officials themselves is not only absurd on its face but is a nifty way of intimidating people into disengaging from the process altogether. Ms Head has already observed that she is receiving significantly fewer emails from the public these days. And at the risk of appearing to say something half-way nice about her, it is clear that she at least demonstrates concern with her ability to respond to such requests while Tracie Washington seems to be telling the public that they initiate them at their own risk.

This shouldn't be so difficult a thing to sort out. It was the point we tried to make last week when confronted with Joe Longo's ridiculous assumption that we should treat the random musings of a local blogger the same way we would Head's email record. The private life is not dead as David has Ms Washington suggest. But it is in need of more careful protection and certainly deserves better than to become a tool of disruption for shielding public officials from their constituents.

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