A Salute to “Sunshine Week”
Our democratic society cannot exist without an open, transparent government that operates in the sunshine. As citizens, we have the right to know about the decisions our government makes, and a responsibility to stay informed about the issues affecting our society. James Madison, the father of our U.S. Constitution, wrote, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” Each year in March, we celebrate James Madison’s birthday by reaffirming our commitment to government transparency during “Sunshine Week.” As your independently elected Clerk of Court, Clerk Green’s job and that of her staff is to provide access to your records and other information.
If you want to see how much the Board of County Commissioners spent on road projects, review lawsuits filed in our county against a person or business, or look up official records such as marriage licenses or deeds, our office is your resource for that information. Searching these records is as simple as visiting www.clayclerk.com. Many records are viewable on-demand from any device or tablet. We also encourage you to explore the many other resources available on our website and get involved in your government. The structure of our local government safeguards open access to records by creating a separation of powers and duties. The framers of Florida’s Constitution intentionally established the Clerk of Court as an independently elected, countywide office separate and apart from the rest of county government. This separation of powers ensures there is a check and balance to safeguard public records and public funds. During Sunshine Week, we reaffirm our commitment to transparency and accountability – not just during this week, but every week of the year.