This week in Michigan is Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week, if you are in the know, is a week to shed light into the dark recesses of government, local, state and national. It is to promote transparency in government.
The idea is pretty simple: The more the public knows, the more they can and will take part in their city, town, state, et al. operations. They will make better informed decisions; help their elected and appointed officials make better decisions — in general have a better run community.
It’s interesting, every week I read posts on the fake news social media website (Facebook) when locals are “surprised” their local government were doing or voted on something — yet they don’t read their local newspaper. All local governments, by law, post Public Notices in our pages. Nearly every week we run ‘em.
They are there to read. I guess what I am trying to say, there is no reason to be surprised, folks just need to make an effort to stay informed.
I am not sorry if I offended you — you who does not make an effort to stay informed and complains loudly when things happen. Remember, I am an emotional idgit who doesn’t care what others feel.
If you want to know what is going on with your community, read your community newpaper, get involved, heck, attend local governmental meetings. AND, when you hear or watch something that doesn’t make sense, ask questions. If your questions are not answered sufficiently, you can also put requests into the government for documentation. These requests are made possible by the Michigan Freedom of Information Act of 1976.
According to this act any person (other than incarcerated felons) can request public records. A person who asks for access to public records is not required to justify his or her request. A person can use the information any way they please. The Michigan Freedom of Information Act allows five days for any response to record requests. The government folks can ask for an extension.
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If you are a regular reader, thank you! And, if you are one of our local business partners, thank you! If I wasn’t the cheapest newspaper guy in town, I would send each and every business person a letter on nice stationery. But, since I am the cheapest guy, I will take this space to write to you.
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Dear Local Business Partner (and there are hundreds and hundreds of you),
Another year is upon us and I thank you for your continued support of your community paper, I hope our partnership has been mutually beneficial. Just to take a little bit of your time, your support allows us to:
1. Report on local kids, their achievements in and out of school.
2. Inform locals of what is happening in their neighborhoods and with their local governments.
3. Help local charities and service groups promote their various (and much needed) programs.
4. Keep area residents informed on what businesses in their community have to offer and how those businesses (you) support our community with sponsorships and donations.
5. To grow your business!
Just so you know, no other medium who takes your hard-earned money in trade for marketing your goods and services cares as much about our community and promoting shopping, dining and buying locally like we here at your ever-lovin’ community paper. (I wonder how much Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram invests back into our community?)
We are a local brick and mortar business. We are invested in our community. We are invested in making sure local business prospers — that folks think local first before going out of the community or online for goods and services.
We have a lot of exciting opportunities to help promote your business this year — let’s get together to plan for your year of promotion and growth.
We are and will continue to be this town’s advocate of local business.
Again, thank you for your support and please contact me with ideas or concerns!
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Back to our readers — remember, local businesses pay local taxes, and support your kids, the Amazons of the world do not.