GOP want more control by limiting the public access to public information

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

To the Editor:
The Elizabethton Star carried an article by Debbie Fishner regarding high fees to obtain public information.
Each office holder is elected to do a job and is paid a tidy sum. Why do they get to charge such exorbitant fees for citizens to obtain public information? The answer is the Republicans, who control Tennessee, passed a law to let them do this. This is not new and was reported in the local newspapers more than a year ago. What is the purpose? It is to limit the access of the public to information which includes meetings of officials and local decisions which may affect taxpayers. It allows information to be buried and covered up, allows officials, who might not want certain decisions published or known in the community, to keep their part in the decisions secret and other things they might or might not want available to citizens.
How do they wield this control? They make it impossible for much of the public to access records because many can’t afford the fee(s), and, therefore, they can bury items which may or may not be important to taxpayers. They keep saying you have a right not to wear a mask by which you may contract a fatal disease or spread it to others, but are limiting your right to see any and every piece of information if you don’t have the money to access it.
The writer of this article is on the right track. I would implore you to elect Democrats who seek to support your unlimited rights to public information. Limiting this information is NOT American, but is representative of an oppressive ruling class who seeks control of our local, state and national governments at your expense.

Ms. J.E. Hyder
Elizabethton

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