Sunday, June 21, 2009

Public Notice Postings Online Are the Least of Our Concerns

The Lansing State Journal today opines on a bill that would permit local governments to post legal notices online if it chooses, rather than the more expensive and requisite public notice in a local publication. (can someone help me out with a number on that legislation?)
“Internet access to foreclosure notices, bankruptcy filings, meeting notices, bids for contracts and the like are great for people specifically looking for this information.
But that's a small, small slice of the public.
Honestly, who plops down in front a computer and says "I've got some time, why don't I check out Delhi Township's Web site and catch up on the latest zoning variances.”
People who want to know things, that’s who. The paper makes a good point in asserting that ideally, these notices would be posted both online and in print. Many of us no longer choose to pay for the print product put out by a number of publications because those pubs have opted out of the news business, for the most part. Some, in fact, don’t even have a statehouse presence.
We live online for much of our news. And that’s where the notices should be. And it is our responsibility to find them, if we want.
What is lamentable is the secrecy with which the myriad boards and panels of the state of Michigan meet.
How about the Michigan Civil Rights Commission meeting tomorrow (Monday)? This is the post you get.
If you want to find out, you call the agency and maybe they will tell you where that meeting is. But there appears to be little or no interest from the public and even less from the media, which was once a guardian of the public trust.
Other boards meet, do some weird things with public money, and no one knows that they were even meeting.
Did you know that on Aug. 19, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board will meet at Lansing Community College in Lansing?
We’d love to think there will be a media presence. Several outlets have offices a few blocks from the site.

1 comment:

  1. Don't hold your breath... about the MNRTF meeting mixing official business with genuine MSM reporting.