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An important, though unexciting task

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By Becky Cassell, Editor

Each year at this time, the editorial department at the News-Journal sends out more than a dozen letters, all of them pretty much alike.

Sounds kind of boring, huh?

Well, it's an important part of our job.

The letters are requests for notification of meetings and copies of information that our public officials are to consider at their meetings.

In the past, some public officials have questioned whether they must by law provide information to the media. We don't ask for the information just for the heck of it. We ask for it so that we can more completely and accurately inform the public - you - about how a particular agency is conducting the public's business.

When a request for records is made, whether it's by us or by anyone else, the agency involved has three days to respond - either by providing the requested information or by denying the request.

The newspaper has taken issue with local agencies on multiple occasions through the years. We've even had Attorney General's Opinions to back us up. When there is a dispute over the release of records, the state AG will issue a decision, which carries the force of law.

The reason we fight so hard to get this information is because we have an obligation to you - our readers, the obligation to see that your records and meetings are kept public, the obligation to provide you with the information you need to make decisions as responsible residents of Taylor County, and the obligation to get that information right.

Those are the reasons the News-Journal asks for this information and those are the reasons the newspaper has fought - and will continue to fight - to see that the public's business, meetings and records are public.

If you're concerned about how City or County government is run or what's going on in your children's school district, here's how to contact your local officials:

Taylor County Fiscal Court

- Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers    465-7729

Magistrates

- District 1 James Jones    789-2055

- District 2 John Gaines    465-6849

- District 3 Milford Lowe    465-7481

- District 4 Matt Pendleton    469-0327

- District 5 Ed Gorin    465-3739

- District 6 Richard Phillips    789-3753

Campbellsville City Council

- Mayor Brenda Allen    465-7011

Council Members

- Jimmy Ewing    465-0181

- Vangie Ford    465-5947

- Mike Hall    465-4455

- Paul Harmon    572-4467

- Randall Herron    789-6861

- Sharon Hoskins    465-6331

- Richard Jeter    465-5552

- Terry Keltner    465-5315

- Stan McKinney    789-1860

- David Nunery    789-2466

- Patti Phillips    465-8394

- Sue Smith    465-5339

Taylor County School Board

- Superintendent Gary Seaborne    465-5371

- Chair Tony Davis    789-1787

- Member Bernie Cave    789-1489

- Member Jim Cheatham    465-7159

- Member Lillian Clark    465-6261   

- Member Gary Porter    789-2973

Campbellsville Independent School Board

- Superintendent Diane Woods-Ayers    465-4162

- Chair Angie Johnson    789-1533

- Member Mitch Overstreet    465-3820

- Member Barkley Taylor    465-2059

- Member Pat Hall    469-6019

- Member Suzanne Wilson    465-4276