Elected Leaders Don’t Want You To Know What They Are Doing!
If anything should persuade lawmakers in Tallahassee that the internet remains an unnavigable place for people in search of basic public information, it should be these interminable months of Covid-19. Most Floridians have had trouble finding information about the basics, including how to secure unemployment benefits and now too many of us are on our own – and out of luck – as we try to line up appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that there is a continued push by lawmakers to remove “public notices” from Florida newspapers. As you are aware, these public notices inform citizens of what their local governments are up to: They are prompts for residents and others to get involved in the process, whether that is attending meetings of zoning boards, school boards and city council gatherings for example. In other words, these notices allow taxpayers to make their presence felt and their voices heard. But of course, that is the last thing our lawmakers in the legislature want: They would rather shut residents out of the process, pulling the shades and turning out the lights of open government.
The Libertarian Party of Broward County would call your attention to Florida House Bill 35 which if enacted would no longer require local governments to purchase space in local newspapers and on their web sites to announce meetings, public hearings and impending votes. This will create a hardship for most citizens who will have to conduct exhaustive searches in an attempt to find this information. Compounding the problem is the fact there is a companion bill, Senate Bill 402, sponsored by the Republican Party, which calls for the removal of legal notifications from newspapers as well, and instead would have that information available only on a web site established by the State Supreme Court.
This issue isn’t about newspaper revenue or saving localities money…and it shouldn’t be a partisan issue either. This is all about accountability and the need for transparency in government, and to make it easy for our citizens to have easy accessibility.
This past Friday, February 19th the Libertarian Party of Broward County hosted its inaugural “Republican Outreach Event” which encouraged anyone and everyone who has had it with the Republican Party to learn more about the current efforts of the Libertarian Party here in Broward County and to present the Libertarian Party as an option to all those who have seen the Republican Party take a turn for the worse. Former Republican – now Libertarian – Adolfo Jimenez moderated an extremely well attended event. Jimenez, chronicled his journey from Republican Party activist to his current role as the Elections Committee Chair of the Libertarian Party and shared several of the reasons why he made that change. For those of you who may have missed it, the intention is to host another similar event, this time inviting our Democrat Party colleagues to attend, details will be announced soon. To all of those who made it out to the Moose and to the organizers as well, thank you and see you at the next Liberty Happy Hour.
For those of you interested in additional reading material regarding the distinctions between the Libertarian and the Republican Parties visit this web link: https://blog.libertasbella.com/libertarian-vsrepublican/?fbclid=IwAR1ZEmMHW7uABxMm9loWtfDYk3nPMZiVJJET5IwMDmoQ4Hfgfe1au6OcH7I
By Dean Morrison, Executive Member of the Libertarian Party of Broward County.