Sunshine Week | Transparency in Government

For one week in March each year, media organizations across the nation focus on transparency in government. Known as “Sunshine Week,” this week offers the opportunity to share with our readers the struggles we have faced covering your local governments, when a local government hasn’t been the best at informing the public, and when a local government has gone above and beyond what is required by law in keeping the public informed.

With one political party dominating local councils and boards (there is only one elected Republican in all of the four municipalities we cover), a key component of keeping those in power honest is missing. It is up to the media and citizens to monitor local government and report on issues involving transparency.

While locally in Conshohocken, West Conshohocken, Whitemarsh, and Plymouth we have no glaring examples of local officials breaking the Sunshine Laws, there are examples of the municipalities not doing common sense things (that are beyond what is legally required) that would make local governments more transparent. It is often the case that one local government is really good about one thing, but fails at another.

This week we are going to review each local government, plus offer some examples that are timely of when a local government went above and beyond what is required when communicating with the public.