Open letter to St Johns County Legislative Delegation



July 4, 2016

To the St Johns County Legislative Delegation:’

Rep. Cyndi Stevenson
Rep. Paul Renner
Sen. Travis Hutson

All –

I am sure that at one time or another, you’ve heard me speak about the importance of updating our state statutes to address something we take for granted — the use of modern technologies to accomplish more conveniently and accurately the day-to-day business of our lives.

I’ve enjoyed a fairly lengthy discussion recently with Representative Stevenson about the unintended impact on new media, particularly in the area of news gathering and reporting, as a consequence of out-of-date statutory language that some lazy, local bureaucrats are using to impede (rather than enhance) the prompt, open reporting of publically available information, as was clearly the intention of past legislatures in crafting Florida’s landmark “Government in the Sunshine” laws.

I wanted to take a moment this Independence Day to encourage each of you to make it a priority to revisit these practices and ask you to
send the strongest possible message to the state’s custodians of open records that just because a statute, for example, describes a process used by news publishers in the twentieth century, does not mean that news publishers in the twenty-first century, employing updated, modern, electronic processes available in the marketplace today to collect and report the very same news, are not, somehow, less credible; or, that local government should attempt to thwart progress in adopting new technologies to remain competitive.

Please feel free to reach out to me personally for assistance and to participate in the sponsorship of updated legislation.

Best to you all,

Michael Gold, Editor



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