Thursday, March 19, 2009

More School Districts Put Spending Online; Cities Stay in the Dark

Good news in terms of school district transparency.
With districts in Macomb and Oakland Counties on board, can we expect some districts in Wayne County to follow? How about Ingham? Doubtful and that’s where most of the problems are and the transparency is needed. While the Mackinac Center’s effort is commendable, all it can really do is ask the least resistant to comply. The problem remains in the most unstable counties, where most of the money is spent.
We are also puzzled by the comment from Bill Matthewson, general counsel for the Michigan Municipal League, regarding the refusal of cities and other municipalities to post public information online:
“The public is privy to city spending through meeting agendas, Freedom of Information Act requests as well as open budget hearings, he said.”
Perhaps in some cases, but at an exorbitant and often prohibitive cost. Matthewson is a typical bureaucrat and a former lobbyist who has no idea what these things mean of cost and his defensive position on the issue is a smoke screen. Looking at his background, it appears he hasn’t has an honest job for some time, according to his LinkedIn profile.
So the trouble remains at the municipal level. And folks like Matthewson work hard to keep us in the dark. We'd post the 990 for the Michigan Municipal League. But the tax-exempt body hasn't made it available online.

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