Lane County is trying to be more open to the public by providing free access to emails and to meeting rooms.
Members of the public and the media can now go to the County Administrator's office and log-in to a computer terminal to read emails between the County Commissioners and the Administrator. The terminal displays messages in an email group collected when constituents contact their commissioners from the Lane County website. County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky says these emails have been available by request, for a fee, in the past.
Mokrohisky: "These are, sort of, symbolic things, I think, in response to specific requests from residents but also indicate, hopefully, the extent to which we're trying to really be open and transparent."
The City of Eugene already has a similar system. Mokrohisky says it seemed like an easy way to give the public direct, no-cost access to communication.
The county is also allowing the public to use its meeting rooms, including Harris Hall, for free, during business hours on weekdays.