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EDITORIAL: Let the sunshine in

March 10-16 is "Sunshine Week," but this designated week doesn't have anything to do with the spring sun that we're all craving (although we wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of that).

The week, instead, has to do with our elected officials and public employees and their willingness to be transparent in their jobs and business dealings.

Whether it's conducting open meetings or releasing information of importance to the public, it's essential for public servants to operate "in the sun" so that taxpayers know what's going on and know how their money is being spent.

Sunshine Week got its start in Florida in 2002, after newspaper editors objected to legislative efforts to limit the release of some public records.

By 2005, Sunshine Week was a national initiative.

Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week seeks to "enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger," according to the Sunshine Week website.

Transparency of public business and the availability of public records are important cornerstones of our democracy. It's great that we have an annual reminder of their importance to all.