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Editor's Note: Why we post salaries online

Dec. 12, 2007

Some questions have been raised about why we have posted public employee salaries on the MyCommunityNOW.com Web sites. We have heard from public employees who believe it's an invasion of their privacy to tell the world - and their neighbors - how much they're earning.

The immediate - and simplest - answer is that the salaries of all public employees is public information, and should be available to any citizen who asks for it. You are, after all, paying the salaries of these employees and are entitled to know exactly how much they earn.

But there's more to it than that.

Providing you with this information in a user-friendly, interactive format gives you the opportunity to be a "watchdog" of how much your elected officials are spending on employee salaries - and to raise questions if something doesn't look quite right. If your police officers are constantly earning overtime, for example, you can ask if the Police Department needs to hire more officers.

All we're doing is making it easier for you to access - and interpret - that information.

Mark Maley, NOW Online Editor

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