Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Norman councilman signs Open Government Pledge

Norman Councilman Tom Kovach has signed FOI Oklahoma's Open Government Pledge as he runs for re-election in the city's municipal election on March 2.

Kovach, who represents Ward 2, is the second candidate in the election to sign the pledge. Councilman Hal Ezzell signed as a mayoral candidate.

Freedom of Information Oklahoma Inc. invites candidates for municipal offices and school board seats this spring to sign the pledge to uphold the letter and spirit of the state's Open Meeting and Open Records laws.

Instructions and a list of signers for the 2010 elections can be found on FOI Oklahoma’s Web site, www.foioklahoma.org.

By signing the pledges, candidates promise, "I and the public bodies that I am elected to govern will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws."

They also promise “to support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power.”

FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge in spring 2008 as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.

For the 2008 and 2009 elections, 58 candidates for local or statewide offices signed the pledge. Of those, 28 were elected.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism

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