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Questions for candidates

Publishers, editors and editorial boards should know where state and local candidates stand on open-government issues. It may be the deciding factor for whether to endorse a candidate.

  • Are there any circumstances under which a public body might better serve its constituents by meeting privately rather than in an open meeting?
  • Do you favor the printing of public notices in newspapers? Are there categories of public notices you believe should be published only on the Internet?
  • Do you consider emails written by elected officials or public employees on government-owned computers to be private, or open to public inspection? How about text-messages or phone calls on government-owned phones?
  • What should be the penalty for a public body or elected officials who violate Nevada’s Open Meetings Law?
  • What factors should take priority in balancing individual privacy with openness in government?
  • Because cost can be a barrier to openness in government, how much of the expense of retrieving public records, for example, should be borne by the person who requests them and how much by the government agency that holds them?
  • Should the Nevada Legislature be able to exempt itself from the Open Meetings Law?
  • How would you make collective-bargain negotiations between government and public-employee unions more transparent to the public?
  • Should evaluations of city managers, county managers and school superintendents be conducted in open or in private?
  • At what stage in the process should complaints against building contractors be available for the public to read — as soon as they are filed, after a preliminary investigation to determine if the complaint has merit, or after a full investigation when a formal violation has been charged?
  • For judge candidates: Are there circumstances under which you would consider closing a hearing to the public?

About Barry Smith

Barry Smith is executive director of the Nevada Press Association. Before joining NPA, he was editor of the Nevada Appeal in Carson City and has been an editor, columnist and reporter.

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