Your Say:

Transparency in Government

     Calvert Countians enjoy a culture of service and reasonable access to elected officials and county staff. We can call our officials and county department heads and ask questions and give opinions.

     Transparency in government requires more than access to officials, however. Transparency is an ongoing process. In a free society, two criteria especially are essential: public access to information and public understanding of the government decision-making process — a process that must be well-defined, open and accountable. These are at the heart of how citizens evaluate the job their public officials are doing. A transparent government facilitates the citizens’ understanding of the decision-making process. It also improves confidence in government and encourages meaningful citizen participation.

     Calvert County has taken steps to improve transparency. With the help of county officials and staff (Commissioner Nutter and the county administrator, in particular), some of the recommendations of the 2014 League of Women Voters study Transparency in Governance have been adopted. The county recently committed to improve public access to information through the county website and other communication conduits.

     Improving transparency requires continuous, ongoing efforts to promote openness in government. Learn more about recent changes in Maryland transparency laws and the tools available to foster transparency at the League forum, Transparency in Government: The Open Meetings Act and The Public Information Act, Thursday, October 26, 7pm at Calvert Pines in Prince Frederick.

     We will also present a follow-up to our 2014 Transparency Study.

     As Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”

–Sharron Bickel and Krista Boughey, 
Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of Calvert County; John Perryman, Chair of the Transparency Team, League of Women Voters of Calvert County

Shark Exhibit Credit

     Many thanks for October 19’s lovely cover photo and fourth-page article entitled Prehistoric Detective Work on the extinct plesiosaur life-restoration that I created.

     I would like to make one correction to an otherwise stellar article. In the final sentence, I am credited with having sculpted the skeleton of the giant white shark that we have on display.

      That wonderful exhibit piece was actually sculpted by Jimmy Langley and Skip Edwards, two recently retired members of our superbly talented exhibits department.

–Stephen J. Godfrey, Curator of Paleontology: Calvert Marine Museum