It very much feels like we are in a season where we need some more transparency on several fronts across the Eastern Shore.

Our region faces plenty of questions and challenges as we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic as well as some high-profile investigations involving public and elected officials.

On the investigations front, we continue to need answers of a child exploitation investigation involving Caroline County Judge Jonathan Newell, who died by apparent suicide with police at his door.

We still need to know what led to that raid and the judge’s death as well the status of the underlying child exploitation investigation and whether it involves any others. We also need to know how long the investigation has been going on and when authorities were first alerted to the allegations.

On another investigative front, we need some more information and answers on the status of an investigation involving Cambridge Mayor Andrew Bradshaw.

Police raided the mayor’s home and city hall as part of that investigation. The public needs answers on what that investigation entails sooner rather than later on this front.

We also need to see continued and increased transparency from our local governments, elected officials and school district leaders on various fronts ranging from economic development deals and real estate developments to how we are navigating the coronavirus pandemic in schools and workplaces.

Openness and sunlight are important to give the public confidence on government policies, economic development directions and our elected and community leaders.

More open institutions and leaders encourage that confidence. In contrast, being standoffish and dismissive towards questions of policies and processes can erode trust and raise questions about ethics, backroom deals and true intentions.

Our community, our local businesses and our neighbors deserve a culture of openness and transparency from classrooms and workplaces to city halls and courtrooms.

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