Tulsa County assessor signs Open Government Pledge

Tulsa County Assessor Ken Yazel has pledged that he and his office "will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit" of Oklahoma's Open Records and Open Meeting laws.

Yazel, seeking his third term, has disagreed with fellow county officials over
open government issues.

In March, Yazel cast the dissenting vote when the Tulsa County Budget Board voted to require its members to complete a public records request form when they request information related to their meetings.

He also opposed a bill that would have allowed county commissioners to employ the same top aide. Yazel said the bill would open the door for scandal and likely lead to violations of the Open Meeting Act.

In signing FOI Oklahoma Inc.'s Open Government Pledge, Yazel promised to "support at every opportunity the public policy of the State of Oklahoma that the people are vested with the inherent right to know and be fully informed about their government so that they can efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power."

FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge in spring 2008 as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to city council contests.

Signers are listed on the FOI Oklahoma Web site, where the pledge form is available for download.

Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Journalism
The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.