This week, San Diego County Regulators unanimously approved what Chairman Nathan Fletcher called the “Framework for the Future,” a comprehensive plan that outlines the Democratic Majority Committee’s new priorities. Regulators also unanimously voted in favor of a statement that the county views racism as a public health crisis. The board has clearly entered a new era that better reflects the beliefs of the county’s residents in 2021.
One of the most fundamental parts of the framework is the Board’s commitment to a new era of transparency. The county’s reluctance to give the public easy access to its internal operations was illustrated by the judicial battle to maintain an outrageous policy in which all emails were deleted after 60 days. Last year, an appeals court said the policy violated the Public Records Act and the California Supreme Court declined to hear a district appeal backed by three Republican officers.
At the suggestion of Democrat Fletcher and newly elected supervisor Joel Anderson, a Republican, the board has approved the creation of a public records portal to expedite the response to requests for public documents and create an archive that is much easier to access older County Records. The guideline emphasizes a point contained in state law: if there is any doubt about the handling of a file request, government officials should err on the openness side. So far, this has not been the district’s approach at all. But public service is just that.