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Bark until they open the gates

December 25, 2010

Thanks for your bulldog approach to seeking answers to possible misuse of taxpayer money for excessive bonuses in a city already experiencing budget deficits ("Paper Won't Be Bullied," Dec.18).

It seems to me, amid so much negative publicity for misuse of funds by the cities of Bell, Vernon and others, the city of Burbank, and any other "innocent" city for that matter, wanting to prove their wholesome and honest behavior, should not only make their financial activity public, but also be anxious to prove they are squeaky clean.

The mere fact that they are apparently preparing for a battle suggests there are probably many hidden activities they would rather not have come to the attention of the public.

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I applaud your tenacity, please do not let up until the closed gates are opened for all to see.

Michael Elliott

Burbank

Public service includes transparency

I appreciated the article by Gretchen Meier in the Burbank Leader ("City Council calls for 'careful discussion' of employee bonuses," Dec. 18). It was reported that the city was not disclosing information about merit pay. It seems that they would rather maintain capricious and secretive processes.

We need the press to challenge public officials to operate in a less obscure and arrogant culture. We all grouse about the media, but historically it serves to balance government and other abusive activity.

I do not recall ever hearing full disclosure over the recent flap with police department discriminatory actions and alleged corrupted processes of advancement to senior officer positions.

These examples indicate a city government becoming insular and calculating to remove the public from processes that should be about serving the greater community.

Thanks to the Leader staff for pressing to gain transparency and securing our rights to public information. Without such transparency, the public loses service for all and the insiders become more autocratic.

Nick Wilhelm

Burbank resident

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