Florida is known for its sunshine, both the kind that draws tourists from all over the world, and the kind that ensures the public’s right to be fully informed regarding the work of government. “The Sunshine Law,” the general term used to describe Florida’s comprehensive body of laws regarding the public’s access documents and open meetings, allows Florida citizens to be as informed as they wish to be.
The City of St. Augustine has now made it easy for its constituency to offer suggestions on how its municipal government can make public records and meetings more accessible by launching a new email address just for those suggestions. The email address is easy to remember, and appropriately named: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of particular interest to city staff are suggestions on how the city’s web site, www.staugustinegovernment.com, can better serve the needs of the community. Additionally, suggestions are sought on how the city might make its records and meetings more accessible.
Asking for the community’s input is part of an initiative within City Hall to improve the level of accessibility of public records. Current policies and procedures are being reviewed, with an eye towards making it easier to be an informed citizen.
Currently, the city’s web site offers volumes of documents including the agendas and minutes from every meeting for the past eight years of the City Commission, Planning and Zoning Board (PZB), Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) and many other bodies within city government. The site also contains contact information for officials, rosters of members of the many city boards, content of special reports and studies, announcements of special meetings and requests for bids on city projects. Even with the volumes of information that is available, there could be more and so city staff is seeking the community’s input.
For more information, contact the Public Affairs Department at 904.825.1004.