Observer Corps...Protecting Your Right to Know
Protecting our right to know is integral to our democracy.
Joining other Leagues throughout the country, the LWV of Sussex County established an "Observer Corps" in January of 2009 to help ensure that government transparency laws, or "sunshine" laws, are being followed in our community.
Observers monitor governmental bodies to learn how issues are being addressed, if proper notice is given before issues are discussed and decided, if public input is solicited and whether open meeting laws are followed. The Corps also serves as the "eyes and ears" of the League, identifying issues that are important to our mission so the League can take action, if warranted.
Our emphasis has been to have League Observers present at as many County Council and Planning & Zoning meetings as possible. The meetings are held in County Council Chambers in Georgetown, with Council held most Tuesday mornings and Planning & Zoning meeting twice a month on Thursday evenings. At the beginning of each month, Observers volunteer for any meeting or meetings they can attend.
During the meetings, Observers take notes and use a simple Observer Corps Report Form to report their observations back to the League. A summary report, called the Sunshine Report, is presented to the County and the media each year, usually close to the LWV's Sunshine Week in March. This keeps elected and appointed officials on notice, letting them know that someone is watching what decisions are being made and how they are being made.
The most recent Sunshine report was presented to the Sussex County Council on September 11, 2018. To read it in full click here .
If you are interested in participating in this program as a regular or occasional Observer, please contact the LWVSC at observercorps [at] sussexlwv.org.