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County website again wins top transparency honor

County, Barrington Hills websites named among most transparent

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 1:13 p.m. CDT

A national transparency organization has bestowed McHenry County’s website its top honor for the third consecutive year.

Sunshine Review gave the website a “Sunny Award,” or an “A” rating for the amount of information it contains. This is the third consecutive year since the organization created the award for government websites four years ago that the county’s website earned the top rating.

The county is one of 19 recipients in Illinois and two in McHenry County – the website for the village of Barrington Hills also received a top rating.

“I think we have showed as a County Board the dedication and the commitment of wanting to be transparent and wanting public access to any and all of their information, because it is the people’s information – it is not the government’s,” said County Board Chairwoman Tina Hill, R-Woodstock. The Sunny Awards are bestowed during Sunshine Week, a weeklong observance every March highlighting the need for open, transparent and accountable government.

Of 1,000 qualifying websites nationwide, Sunshine Review bestowed “A” ratings on 247 of them. A Sunny Award means the website met all 10 of Sunshine Review’s criteria for posting budgets, meeting times and minutes, information on elected and employed officials, building permits and zoning, audits, contracts, lobbying, taxes and other public records.

The websites for the governments of all five collar counties – McHenry, Lake, Kane, DuPage and Will – won Sunny Awards. DuPage and Lake counties have won Sunny Awards for all four years.

Some awards are bestowed to shame governments into doing better. The Society of Professional Journalists annually bestows its “Black Hole Award” to “honor the most flagrant violations of the public’s right to know.”

On the net

Sunshine Review, a national pro-transparency organization, bestowed its top honor for government websites this year on the websites for McHenry County government and the Village of Barrington Hills.

You can visit McHenry County's website at www.co.mchenry.il.us, the Village of Barrington Hills at www.barringtonhills-il.gov, and visit the Sunshine Review website at www.sunshinereview.org.

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