To the editor:

I would like to share some thoughts about your editorial April 16, "S.L. County should not try to keep public in the dark."You stated Salt Lake County "officials are trying to find ways to close their records" and characterized that as " . . . a misleading and dangerous move."

Such a thing would be dangerous. However, your statement that officials are trying to close government records is misleading. The editorial was based on a preliminary draft from a staff attorney and in no way represents the views of the Salt Lake County Commission.

In fact, before the commission even gets a look at the document, it will face review and amendment by the county's steering committee and executive council.

At the opening of the County Commission meeting, April 15, with a Deseret News reporter in attendance, Commission Chairman Jim Bradley said he could not support an ordinance that prevents public access to government documents simply because it may lead to "shame and embarrassment" of public officials.

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Salt Lake County government prides itself on being open to the public and media scrutiny. Interestingly, the final paragraph in the editorial closely resembled Bradley's statement from the day before: "There is clearly no place for an ordinance in Salt Lake County government that could be used to suppress public documents because they might embarrass someone, particularly an elected official."

Jim Braden

Public information director

Salt Lake County

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