Trying to Let the Sun Shine on San Francisco's Public Agencies

The City of San Francisco has for years had a "Sunshine" ordinance, requiring that public agencies make their documents and proceedings available to the public. But recent reviews show that sunshine has been hard to find in the city of fog.
March 12, 2010, 8am PST | Nate Berg
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There's a proposal in the city to revise its Sunshine Ordinance Task Force to have the power to fine agencies in violation of the law, and to require that offending agencies make public their violations.

"Despite the potential significance of these amendments to the cause of open government and the history of SOTF findings being blatantly ignored by Mayor Gavin Newsom and other officials who have refused to release public documents, only a small posse of regular sunshine advocates attended the March 4 meeting of SOTF's Compliance and Amendments Committee.

This lack of public interest underscores how the inability to enforce its findings has undercut its power, and why its members believe the legal equivalent of a stun gun is needed if people are going to start taking the work of this Board of Supervisors appointed body seriously."

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Published on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 in San Francisco Bay Guardian
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