Organization Honors Local Open Government ChampionSeptember 24th, 2008 by Steven Gardner
Charlie Burrow, who sometimes comments here, was one of eight to receive a Key Award from the Washington Coalition for Open Government. The award is given to people and groups who work to promote open and accountable government.
The coalition’s award to Burrow states, “Charlie Burrow’s leadership of Kitsap Citizens for Responsible Planning resulted in improved awareness of and access to open government issues in Kitsap County. His actions helped clarify and focus the minds of many Kitsap County citizens, officials, and staff of the functions and value of open government concepts. Burrow’s actions exposed the undisclosed meetings and arrangements of a very large corporation with local officials.”
According to Tom Nevins, who nominated Burrow for the award, much of the activity focused on interactions between International Speedway Corp., their supporters and local government officials. The issue was regarding ISC’s consideration of Kitsap County as a place to build a new speedway for NASCAR races.
“Charlie’s efforts to shine the light of day on ‘matters of the public business and in the conduct of the public’s business’ had significant results.
“Officials charged with doing the publics business became more aware of their open government responsibilities.
“Citizens became informed and involved through Charlie’s web site. Private agencies became aware that when their private business involves public agencies, the public has the right to know.”
The Washington Coalition for Open Government describes itself as “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization founded in 2002 by a group of individuals representing organizations with a broad spectrum of opinions and backgrounds, all dedicated to the principles of strengthening the state’s open government laws and protecting the public’s access to government at all levels.”