As the old year passes away, our hope at the St. Clair Times is that governments on every level do away with the same ol’, same ol’.

It is often said that the most powerful forms of government in American society are municipal governments. It is also said that those governments are the most vulnerable, because of their proximity to their constituents.

It is precisely because of that, however, that those constituents must demand accountability from their local governments. With the dawn of a new election year, every potential voter should ask each candidate the following question: "Do you intend to operate an open government?"

We all want to see things changed, and we all want to see government work better for us, the citizens. That begins and ends with demanding more accountability from our government officials. The electorate is not comprised of children who cannot stand to be party to public discussions, and those in power should know better than to treat them as such.

We at the St. Clair Times are proud of our record in defending the right of the public to know exactly what is taking place inside our local governments. Our promise to our readers is that we will continue to do our best to keep accountability in high demand (we are, after all, citizens of this county). That promise is a challenge, of course, but it is one we happily accept.

Another popular saying is that a free society winds up with the government it deserves. We deserve one that is open, accountable and honest. We will not accept anything less.