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How to Hack Public Meetings

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 6 2011

A public meeting in Edmonton, Canada. Photo: Mack Male / Flickr Hidden in dusty cabinets and squirreled away in boxes in city halls across the country, the minutes of local government meetings record the civic pulse of ... Read More

In Toronto, Twitter-Savvy Citizens Keep Mayor Up All Night

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 8 2011

When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford planned a public meeting to discuss plans for drastic cuts to Toronto's budget, it became immediately clear that it would be a long night: ahead of the July 28 meeting, a reported 280 speakers ... Read More

When an Email Chain Should Have Been a Public Meeting, Laws Could Have Been Broken

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 21 2011

Prosecutors in Burlington County, Penn. are investigating if an email thread among public officials about a development project proposed by "a politically connected insurance firm" violated public records laws, the ... Read More

The iPads For City Halls Craze Catches On in Michigan

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

The "magical, revolutionary" device that is cause for controversy in town halls nationwide. Photo: Sean MacEntee / Flickr While some Michigan towns are banning electronic devices in public meetings, Bay City is going ... Read More

Accidental Transparency and Institutional Change

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

After Republicans took over both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly, N.C. Coalition on Lobbying and Government Reform Director Jane Pinsky writes today in a Charlotte Observer op-ed, they promised to be open, ... Read More

For Some Michigan Communities, Public Equals Not Online

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

CivSource Online editor Bailey McCann catches this Detroit News item about communites in southeastern Michigan who are barring public officials from electronic communications at public meetings: Supporters say the issue ... Read More

North Carolina Town Commission Swaps Paper for iPads

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

The town commission of Cornelius, N.C., has gone completely paperless: each commissioner now has a town-owned iPad, with meeting agendas, maps and worksheets served up through proprietary software. The Herald Weekly of ... Read More

Do Lawmakers' Texts During Public Meetings Become Public Documents?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 27 2011

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Beth LaMontagne Hall reports on some navel-gazing in Manchester, N.H., over texting during public meetings: During the June 12 Board of School Committee meeting, [Mayor Ted] Gatsas ... Read More