Gary, this effort is for you

Print Article

Gary Ingram is gone, but a friend is working to make sure heís not forgotten.

Gary is the former Idaho legislator best known for writing Idahoís public record and open meeting laws. Gary died Nov. 30. He was 84.

Mary Souza is a current Idaho legislator and friend of Garyís who as a business person and citizen, long has been a proponent of government transparency. Now sheís Sen. Souza and an insider ó but sheís an insider determined to open more windows so the light of public scrutiny can shine in.

Without going into detail now because the work is in its infant stages, Sen. Souza has been researching and coordinating with experts at the state capital to recommend modest but important changes to Idahoís public record laws. Thatís wonderful news.

Having fought over the years to provide important information citizens have a right to know, including police officer discipline, big payoffs to county employees and details of a severance package for a school district administrator, The Press has struggled with shortcomings in the way these laws are written. Thatís not a reflection on Ingramís work but more likely, the modern reality of loopholes being exploited and the ease with which public officials can dispense taxpayersí money to make embarrassing problems disappear.

The timing of Sen. Souzaís work could hardly be better. Idaho and Michigan are the only states that have no requirements for candidates to disclose important financial information that could reveal existing or potential conflicts of interest. A group of Idaho legislators is determined to change that in the session beginning in a few weeks.

According to the legislative panelís recommendation last month, all candidates for elective office at the state, legislative, county or city level would be required to disclose:

• Primary employer and job title;

• All entities they own or serve as an officer;

• Every entity that has paid them $5,000 or more in the past year;

• All the boards on which they serve;

• Their spouseís name, employer and occupation.

Itís never easy to determine where public servantsí privacy rights end and the publicís right to know begins. Souza and the 2018 Idaho Legislature could go a long way toward ensuring a better balance is found between those two vital interests.

Print Article

Read More Editorial

See you in the yard, neighbor

April 22, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Next to the winter coat, letís hang up our differences for a few hours. Itís spring. The sun smiles. The yard beckons. Isnít that enough? Verily, though these are words that come mid-August many a ...

Comments

Read More

Campaign season brings in the trash

April 20, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press The Tommy Ahlquist campaign has been punching fellow Idaho governor candidates Raul Labrador and Brad Little hard in Ahlquistís recent TV advertisements. The ads constitute negative campaigning, no q...

Comments

Read More

Working our way out of debt

April 18, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Accumulating more debt than you can pay off canít be justified, let alone be seen as a good thing. If thereís a priority that should be atop every Americanís to-do list, itís to get our countryís fi...

Comments

Read More

A model for voters to follow

April 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Will the next Shawn Keough please step forward? Oh, right. There wonít ever be another Shawn Keough. But maybe North Idaho can find more folks like her. The longest serving female Idaho senator jus...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2018 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X