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But where does it cross the line?

I'll go ahead and put it out there at the start: Yes, I am a civil servant.

While I do understand your assertion that the public has a right to know things about the people who serve them, I do NOT think the public has a right to know EVERYTHING.

Case in point: New Hanover County began a policy last year of offering lower cost to employees who agree to join the county's new health plan initiative. If an employee agrees to have checkups and screenings and all basic healthcare through the on-staff physician's assistant, that employee will pay less for their healthcare. Does New Hanover County really need to be doing that? I'm not so sure. First of all, it means a reduced standard of care, because the county only offers a physician assistant, NOT a medical DOCTOR. Second, it sets the employee up for potential failure. Suppose an employee has a blood draw that reveals an illness. How long until the county finds a "reason" to terminate the employee in an effort to keep costs of treating that employee down? Third, it's a basic privacy issue. You stated that the public has a right to know about every investigation. If the county's PA investigates someone's health, do you honestly believe those findings should be made public? HIPPA laws were created to prevent people from being discrimination targets.

Are you basing your stance for this issue on the belief that since the public pays our salaries, the public should receive all information about the employees that tax dollars pay for? Based on that logic, EVERY employee everywhere - public and private - should have to turn over all their records. If I go out to eat dinner, should I be given all records pertaining to my server's employment and health? After all, by paying for my meal and by leaving a tip, I'm paying that person's salary.

Where does the public's right to know end?

If I as a county employee break laws, yes, by all means, that is public record. But when it's in the investigation phase, I'm not convinced that warrants full disclosure. After all, what is more important: Knowing what an employee did, or knowing that an employee with even a hint of impropriety will never again earn another cent paid by taxpayers?

I realize as a civil servant that I have to give up some privacies, but YOU need to realize that underneath my badge, I am still a person.


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