Government in the Dark – Day 64 of the Jackson County Ethics Blackout

Knowledge is power, and it appears that Jackson County Government doesn’t want to spread the power very widely. Unlike the City of Kansas City and the State of Missouri, Jackson County does not maintain a searchable database of its laws. Instead, Jackson County tells you to contact the County Clerk if you want to know what the law is, or download the chapters you want in pdf form.

And, in case you’re looking for the famous Jackson County Ethics Code, which the Legislature imposed on everyone else but still refuses to bring itself under, don’t bother looking on the Code page. Instead, you need to go back through the journals of the legislative meetings and track it down that way.

Personally, I think that’s a shame, and that the citizens of Jackson County ought to have easier access to the law that the Jackson County Legislature fears. So, here is a pdf version of the law. And, if you want to see how the legislature’s refusal to allow the Jackson County Ethics Commission violates the Charter, here’s a pdf of the Jackson County Charter. Look at pages 25 and 26 for the provisions that the Jackson County Legislator is violating.

Why is it that a mere blogger makes these laws more available to the public than the Jackson County Government?

Who’s benefiting from the secrecy? In 2010, we can have a solid slate of candidates who accept the Charter and support ethics to run against each incumbent on the Jackson County legislature.

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