Stillwater council candidates, mayor sign Open Government Pledge
Four candidates for the Stillwater City Council have signed FOI Oklahoma's Open Government Pledge, promising to uphold the letter and spirit of the state's Open Meeting and Open Records laws if elected April 1. Stillwater Mayor John Bartley also signed the pledge.
A fifth council candidate, Jim Gardner, had signed the pledge prior to being eliminated in the March 4 primary. However, the Stillwater League of Women Voters, which had collected Gardner's and others' signed pledges on Feb. 28, didn't mail them to FOI Oklahoma until after the election.
Also signing the pledge were Miguel Najera and Cody Scott, who are running for City Council Seat 4. Scott, an electrician, is seeking his second term. Najera, a property and casualty adjustor for Oklahoma Farm Bureau Insurance Co., is a first-time candidate for elected office.
Pledge-signers Pat Darlington and Jay Kuruvilla are running for City Council Seat 3. Incumbent Chuck Hopkins couldn't seek re-election because of term limits. Darlington is a licensed psychologist. Kuruvilla is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University.
By signing the pledge, each candidate 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."
The candidates also pledged that they and the public bodies that they are "elected to govern will comply with not only the letter but also the spirit of Oklahoma's Open Meeting and Open Records laws."
FOI Oklahoma began the Open Government Pledge in 2008 as part of a national effort to spur public commitments to government transparency from candidates for president down to local contests.
Joey Senat, Ph.D. Associate Professor OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications
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.