Secretary of State Jim Condos to develop ‘Vermont Transparency Tour’

first_imgSecretary of State Jim Condos announced today that he is embarking on a ‘Vermont Transparency Tour’ to travel the state to help educate and train local and state government officials on the laws of the state regarding Access to Public Records and Open Meetings.   He said at least 12 training sessions are envisioned this summer.  ‘A change of the culture and attitude towards access to public records and open meetings is necessary for both state and local government,’ Condos said.  ‘Open government is good government,’ Condos stated in announcing the tour.   ‘Distrust in government is not good for our democratic process ‘ the public has a right to know the truth about what the government is doing.’ Condos continues, ‘As new legislation designed to provide for greater transparency in public records and open meetings progresses in the statehouse, it has become evident that local and state officials need training to better understand the law.’ This week Condos approached the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Vermont School Boards Association, Vermont Municipal Clerks and Treasurers, American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, and the Vermont Press Association to ask for their support of this endeavor. Condos is pleased to say that all have agreed that additional training is important and support the idea of taking this on the road.  Other groups will also be asked to endorse the plan. While the training sessions are designed for all state and local government officials, they will be open to the public.  The initial idea is to schedule two sessions a day, for two days a week over a three or four week period.  The locations will be sprinkled across Vermont and will allow most government officials to be within an hour’s drive of at least two or more sessions. Jim Condos is Vermont’s Secretary of State, after serving eight years as a Vermont Senator from Chittenden County, 18 years on South Burlington City Council and 30+ years of private sector business experience. Source: Condos’ office. 4.29.2011last_img read more

EDITORIAL: List of Heroes

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionIn the National Archives, where many of the nation’s important documents are kept, is a collection of yellowing papers titled plainly: World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel from New York.It is exactly what it says it is — an alphabetical list, broken down by county, of all the soldiers from our state killed during that war.It’s very military-like in its form. Each name is typed in capital letters: last name, first name, middle initial. And each name is followed by the soldier’s seven- or eight-digit serial number, rank and a code.A casualty code.DOW. DOI. KIA. DNB. FOD. M.Died of Wounds. Died of Injuries. Killed in Action. Died Non-Battle. Finding of Death. Missing.You’d think boiling down the deaths of these brave soldiers to the bare minimum amount of information on a long, typed list, then storing it in a building with billions of other pieces of paper, would take away the humanity. That not showing the pictures of the dead and not offering details of the casualty codes would make the deaths less personal.  And what of the missing? What became of them? Where did they find their final place of rest?The military can boil down the horrors of war to letters and numbers on a page. But it can’t take away the suffering. It can’t take away the loss.It can’t take away their heroism in service to our country.Every name on every list like this, from every war, every serial number, every code, belongs to someone.And each of these individuals deserves our eternal gratitude on this day of memorial.Please take time to honor them. That somehow reducing their lives to a few taps of a clerk’s typewriter would make the horrors they saw and the pain they suffered easier to comprehend.But in fact, poring over the lists of names has the opposite effect.In the brevity of each entry, the list actually makes their sacrifices even more stark and real, in that it forces us to ask questions.Who were these soldiers? Were they young boys or were they older? Are those on the list who share the same last name brothers or cousins or father and son?What’s behind those casualty codes? How were they killed? Where were they when they died? Did they hear the bullet or the bomb coming? Did they write their mother or sweetheart in their final days? Were they alone? Or did they die with their buddies?For those who died of their wounds, how much did they suffer and for how long? What were they thinking as they lay on the battlefield until they were carried off? Who risked their own life to save these wounded soldiers, only to have them pass away later?center_img More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Cerro Gordo supervisors approve alterations in ordinance dealing with fireworks sales

first_imgMASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors at their meeting earlier today passed on final consideration an amendment to the ordinance dealing with fireworks sales in the unincorporated areas of the county.Two years ago, the supervisors approved an ordinance that restricted the sale of consumer-grade fireworks to industrial-zoned districts only, prohibited the sale of fireworks from temporary structures, and created a special fireworks sales permit.County planning & zoning administrator John Robbins says the county needed to amend the ordinance to do away with the sales permit after a court ruling last year that said local governments cannot require special permits for the sales of fireworks. “The major intent is just to be in line of the spirit of the state rules. There’s a case that was involved in the Des Moines Area last year that confirmed zoning authority for local jurisdictions. This just sort of outlined some of these changes that were trying to be in spirit of the state law with.”)The amendment also contains some changes, including allowing fireworks tents in areas zoned as industrial in the unincorporated areas of the county.  The amendment also reverses the prohibition on the sale of fireworks from temporary structures, including tents; prohibit the sale of fireworks within any public right-of-way; amend the county zoning ordinance to exempt fireworks from the requirement for Board of Adjustment approval for the outdoor display of merchandise; requires any seller to be issued a zoning permit as any change of use would be required under the zoning ordinance and establishes a process for review; and maintains a requirement for inspection by the local fire chief and the zoning administrator after a zoning permit has been issued but before any sale of consumer fireworks takes place.The supervisors unanimously passed the amendment on its first reading, and then voted to waive the second and final readings to allow the changes to be enacted.last_img read more

DDTV: FLOOD WATERS HIT ROADS AROUND LETTERKENNY

first_imgDDTV: The sheer volume of flood waters in and around Letterkenny took many people by surprise. This short video gives you an idea of what it was like, just outside the town. DDTV: FLOOD WATERS HIT ROADS AROUND LETTERKENNY was last modified: August 5th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AUGUST 2014DDTVDonegal Daily TVfloodslast_img read more