Open government — It’s the law

Editor Jim Zachary

Editor Jim Zachary

“Government belongs to the governed, not the governing.”

JONESBORO — These words resonate in our newsroom as we work each day to provide local news, features and commentary.

It is our commitment to these principles that guides us as we serve the citizens of Clayton County.

This special edition of the Clayton News Daily is designed to empower citizens and inform elected officials for the purpose of refining and improving our community.

The Clayton News Daily believes that open government is good government.

In this edition, reporters Kelsey Cochran, Rachel Shirey, Heather Middleton, Johnny Jackson, Kathy Jefcoats and Curt Yeomans take a look at government transparency, the Freedom of Information Act, the practices of local officials and the laws of the state of Georgia.

You will find articles dealing with your access to public documents, your rights to request records and your reasonable expectation of knowing what elected officials are doing with taxpayers dollars.

We have provided explanations for how to make an open records request and instructions for how to proceed if a request is denied.

We have cleared up common misconceptions about executive sessions held by local governmental bodies and explained exactly what the Georgia Open Meetings Act says about the public’s access to the public’s business.

Public notice requirements, that must be met by local government, are fully explained as well.

You will find information about how the court system works and how to obtain basic police reports.

Another community service provided in this edition is an organizational chart of county government and a comprehensive listing of records custodians throughout local government needed when making an open records request.

The Clayton News Daily takes its public service role seriously and is committed to being the eyes and ears of Clayton County, providing vibrant coverage of the many positive things happening in our community each day and serving as a government watchdog and the Fourth Estate of local government.

We hope you find this special edition informative and empowering.