From the Kirkland Reporter: Open and transparent government is essential to liberty, and access to public records is a key element of open government.
As an advocate for government transparency and accountability, as well as a Kirkland City Council member, I believe that the council placed the city on the cutting edge of public records access by its recent unanimous adoption of two pieces of legislation.
Ordinance O-4414, “Access to Public Records,” and Resolution R-4987, “Public Records Act Rules,” will govern how Kirkland handles public records requests going forward.
Kirkland has elevated the city service of providing access to public records to “first class” status like other essential city services, requiring that the handling of public records requests be evaluated and funded as part of all future budget deliberations by the city council. The ordinance and rules create a performance management system for records requests, with goals and performance metrics like every other essential city service.
Toby Nixon is a member of the Kirkland City Council and president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, a member of NFOIC. –eds.