Wilson Times: Lawmakers fight public records pushback
From the Wilson Times (3/26/13): Lawmakers who want to strengthen open meetings and records laws and punish officials who violate them face formidable opposition from state employees groups.
The State Employees Association of North Carolina and N.C. League of Municipalities are fighting bills to make government workers’ performance evaluations public and subject public records law violators to criminal penalties, state Sen. Thom Goolsby told journalists last week.
"You would think that we are putting some incredible amount of scrutiny on all these state employees, totally unheard of, and invading their privacy and following them to the bathroom,” Goolsby said. "I think that’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s our money, it’s our building, they work for us, it’s our time. We should know what they’re doing.”
Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, and state Rep. Jeff Collins, a Republican from Nash County, spoke candidly about the obstacles open government bills face during the North Carolina Press Association’s legislative brunch March 21 at the University of North Carolina’s George Hill Watts Alumni Center in Chapel Hill.