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Letter: Maintaining government transparency

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

At our most recent Mathews Board of Supervisors meeting on Feb. 25, one of our newest members of the board accused the County Administration of having “opened his private mail.” As a public official, there is no longer a private communication if it involves the business of the government.

Opening mail sent to the county and date stamped is part of the day-to-day operation of the local government. This is not just a local administrative policy, but dictated by state and federal public records laws and the Freedom of Information Act.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Virginia. Public records include all documents, no matter their physical form, that are “prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers or agents in the transaction of public business.”

In addition, advertising in the local paper ...

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