Commentary: Arlington lacking in government transparency

The Arlington Advocate is to be commended for its Nov. 15 editorial advocating for reform of the state’s Public Records Law. But it completely missed the mark in suggesting that Arlington could serve as a strong example of transparency to state agencies.

Arlington officials do an excellent job of managing the local media, no doubt supplying all the information they wish to make public. But when it comes to responding to records requests from Arlington citizens, their performance is decidedly mixed.

My experience has been that while some town officials, the current Town Manager for example, have been extremely responsive to records requests, others, particularly in matters dealing with real estate, have been obstructionists.

Thus, it was disappointing to learn that the Town Manager actively supported the lobbying efforts of the Massachusetts Municipal Association against reform of the Public Records Law, which were described in the Advocate editorial. Continue…