Condos Applauds Vermont Supreme Court Ruling on Public Records

For immediate release

Contact: Jim Condos (802) 238-3809, jcondos@aol.com

This past week, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that Burlington acted improperly in denying a request for documents related to the adjudication of a speeding ticket. In making its ruling, the court stated that government actions must be open to scrutiny by citizens.
“We do not overstate the case in saying that open access to governmental records is a fundamental precept of our society” and is “in the public interest,” the court determined. “That policy goal would suffer were we to allow agencies resisting disclosure to avoid it merely by invoking the magic word ‘relevant’ under the litigation exception. To do so would threaten to cut off valuable information not only to the parties to the litigation but to all Vermonters.”

“As a City Councilor and State Senator, I have fought for open access to public records,” said Jim Condos, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State. “As Secretary of State, I will continue to do so. When government hides information from the public and operates in secrecy, it erodes our democracy.”

Condos’ plan is to ensure that the current Douglas Administration’s practices of secret meetings and denial of access to public records (which his Republican opponent defended as a senior aide to the Governor) does not continue to be a barrier to open government.

Condos believes that Vermonters should not be treated as adversaries of government; we are all a part of government.

“Certainly, the tenure of Katherine Harris as Secretary of State of Florida demonstrated what could happen when a political operative with long-term ambitions occupies the office,” states Condos.  “I believe that openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency, accountability, and effectiveness in government. An effective government fosters a vibrant economy. Closing the door on government to prevent the public eye from looking in is just plain wrong!”

Jim has a unique and relevant background for the Secretary of State position. He has over 20 years of elected public service including 18 years on South Burlington City Council, 8 years as a Vermont State Senator, and over 30 years of private sector business experience. He has focused on open and transparent government throughout his elected service.

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