The reason we have elections is so the citizens can periodically evaluate the jobs being carried out by those they previously elected to office. Are they spending tax money wisely? Are they padding the payrolls with friends and cronies? Are they letting public workers run roughshod?
In order for the voters to make that determination they must be able see what is going on. That’s the reason for public records and open meetings laws that let the sun shine in on the truth.
Truth? You can’t handle the truth.
Senate Bill 384, sponsored by Sparks Democratic state Sen. Julia Ratti, would slam the door closed on records kept by public employers about public employees. All you would get to see is name, rank and serial number.
SB384 flatly states: “The name, public employer, position and amount of annual salary and benefits of an employee of a public employer is a public record. All other information about an employee of a public employer which is contained in a record or file in the possession, control or custody of a public employer is confidential…”
It goes on to limit information about public retirees in substantially the same manner.
Conceivably, under this wording the fact that an employee was paid more in overtime and other perks than in salary would be a secret.
If a commendation were handed to a public employee that could be a secret. Same for a reprimand.
Since the police agencies maintain files on their officers, it might even be construed that the department could not reveal whether an officer was involved in a shooting, whether it is his or her first time or 15th.
Leave the public records law alone.