Transparency is on agendas of mayoral hopefuls

Public meetings and open government. Two of the recurring themes in this past year of your glimpse into how and why the newspaper does what it does.

This week at a public meeting about tuberculosis testing at Hephzibah High School, journalists were admonished not to do their jobs at the meeting, else the speaker would not continue.

When our photographer moved to the back of the room so the speaker would continue, someone stepped in front of her. No matter which way she turned, he positioned himself in front of her lens to keep her from doing her job. Her job – to document and add authenticity to the proceedings. Real people doing real things.

Not everyone can go to meetings, and we will often go in your stead and report what happened. A photo of that meeting adds context to what is being said.

Rarely is the drama of a meeting captured photographically, but photos do give you a sense of place, a view of the speaker and a look at the crowd and the individuals speaking out.

When public officials
or people they send to act
in their stead try to close
the meeting or keep us away, we will respectfully go on doing what you expect of us.

To gather and report the news. To keep you informed about what is going on in this community.

Another way we do that is with election coverage. And not just the horse-race version of who is leading at the polls, but getting to the heart of the issues.

The Augusta Chronicle newsroom invited all five mayoral candidates into our offices this week to sit down for individual question-and-answer sessions.

The candidates came in and spent between 45 minutes and an hour apiece answering our questions about local issues and why each feels qualified to be the city’s next mayor.

Two of the themes that emerged from the candidates were transparency and accountability – two strains of music to my ears when I hear it from anyone associated with government at any level.

Read the Q&As starting Monday in the print edition, and go to www.augusta
chronicle.com to watch videos of the interviews.

There will be one question-and-answer session in each day’s paper, in the order the candidates spoke with us:

MONDAY: Alvin Mason

TUESDAY: Helen Blocker-Adams

WEDNESDAY: Charles Cummings

THURSDAY: Lori Myles

FRIDAY: Hardie Davis

Use these interviews and videos, along with our future coverage of the candidates, to make an informed decision come May 20.

Helping you get to know the candidates and their stances on the issues of our city, county, region and state is a small but important part of what we do as this community’s newspaper.

And any one of them you pick has standing up for openness on the agenda.

Health department officials say errors made in school meeting
Tuberculosis tests planned at Hephzibah High

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Mon, 12/05/2016 - 22:47

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