September 20, 2009 By News Report
The Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for New York State Policy, which last year launched SeeThroughNY, a transparency site that revealed the salaries of all New York State employees, on Friday announced that it has added the municipal payroll files of all counties, cities, towns, villages and special districts in the state.
The site is controversial, as most public employees feel publishing their salaries by name is an invasion of privacy. However, the state's Freedom of Information Law states: "The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality. The Legislature therefore declares that government is the public's business and that the public, individually and collectively and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of government in accordance with the provisions of this article."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.