We’ve published several stories in the past month about Trailer Estates, including this one today. The coverage was sparked by some residents after they read the Bradenton Herald's story about Florida’s open records law on Sunshine Sunday.
We've written on the efforts throughout Florida and the United States to hold government accountable. The First Amendment Foundation has one of the best compilations here to guide you through your public records rights.
Trailer Estates' board oversees an annual budget of almost $1 million, and these residents want to know how the board is deciding to spend their money. It’s difficult for us to imagine why anyone would question us checking into this, but not everyone agrees that this is a story worth covering. We’ve had reporters threatened, subscription cancellations threatened, and threats of picketers here at the Herald realized.
Two encouraging developments, as reporter Nick Azzara wrote today: A Sunshine seminar has been scheduled to give elected officials and residents in Trailer Estates a brushup course on the law; and the board is looking for a program to make its records more accessible.