In what is being hailed as a step toward government transparency and a first-of-its-kind effort, Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard, Jr. has announced that the minutes of all Board of Commissioners meetings — more than four decades worth of documentation — will be posted on the county’s website in a searchable format.
“People should be able to find out what their government has been up to, and how and why we arrived at the decisions that affect their lives,” Bullard stated in a press release late last month. “With today’s technology, there is no reason why that should be a painstaking or laborious task for them to go through. It doesn’t do a lot of good to pass so-called ‘sunshine laws’ if the information is all buried somewhere where most people cannot easily get to it, much less research it.”
In his statement, Bullard was referring to the fact that previously someone would have to visit the Oakland County Courthouse in Pontiac and labor through paper records stored in boxes — a task that the county clerk said he hopes to eliminate with the Open Oakland project, which can be accessed at www.oakgov.com/clerkrod. Once at that website, a green Open Oakland button will direct users to the appropriate page to search board minutes.
On top of the county board minutes, Open Oakland provides online access to agendas, resolutions, county ordinances, interlocal agreements between the county and municipalities, as well as copies of each official election canvass, according to a press release.
For political buffs, minutes of majority party caucus meetings beginning with 2008 sessions are available, as well.