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Worthy of celebration

April 29, 2014 - Blaine Hyska
Let’s hear it for the city leaders in downstate Jackson.

Jackson City Council has approved the initial reading of an open data ordinance. The ordinance calls for the city manager to create an open data policy and procedure within a year of the formal adoption of the law.

Jackson city officials, with the aid of University of Michigan School of Information graduate students, have been working on the open data policy since the first of the year.

The ordinance would allow Jackson city residents and business owners access to city data in an easy and usable way online. Normally, this information would be accessible only through Freedom of Information Act requests.

This is a ground-breaking development in city government.

If approved at the City Council’s May 13 meeting, the city of Jackson will become the first city in Michigan to have an official open data policy.

This ordinance is worthy of celebration. It’s too bad, however, that city council had to pass an ordinance to make this happen.

Wouldn’t you think it would be standard procedure to allow the owners of the city — the taxpaying residents — to have access to this information?



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