OUR VIEW Compromise keeps government open

All North Carolinians deserve to know when their local governments hold special meetings or plan public hearings. State lawmakers have a unique opportunity this year to preserve that right and save cities and counties some money in the process.

When the 2015 regular session begins Wednesday, Rep. Marilyn Avila, R-Wake, plans to introduce a compromise bill that will keep public notice requirements in place and limit the fees newspapers charge to publish the announcements. The bill is modeled after legislation passed in Florida and Tennessee.

In the 2013-14 session, local bills to exempt some North Carolina counties from public notice rules were ultimately unsuccessful. Sponsors of those bills said governments should be able to post notices on their own websites instead of publishing them in newspapers. Continue>>>