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TEXT-IN RESPONSES: Should Names of Public Employees Be Made Public?

Names of state employees, such as educators, being made public has been a hot topic around the state of Wyoming in recent weeks.  State Senator Tom James (R, Rock Springs) from District 13 recently requested a list of all names and salaries of public employees.

In a Facebook post to his page, Sen. James said that he is “requesting this information in order to gain a better understanding of the various ways in which all State agencies are funded, and the expenditures of said State agencies.”

James also stated that “this information will only be used by me, for my own education on budgetary processes.  I am NOT going to be releasing this publicly available information, as I am only using it to educate myself.”

The Wyoming Department of Education has pushed back against the request for the release of names along with salaries.   State Superintendent Jillian Balow told the Casper Star Tribune that “I have difficulty figuring out and reconciling how the release of names that intrudes on the privacy of citizens in our Wyoming community, that potentially puts their security, safety and other aspects of their lives at risk, is in the best interest of the public.”

During the Weekday Wake-up on SVI Radio (Swift 98 and The Spur), Duke & Dahl asked listeners if they felt it was appropriate for Senator James to ask for the names of public employees along with their salaries, or if he should ask for salaries only.  Below are the listener’s responses.  Feel free to add your opinion in the comments section below.

Okay To Ask For Names

“Utah does so I say yes. Why not? And I’m in education.”

“Our daughter’s name is attached to her published salary in Utah. Why not in Wyoming and other states??”

“Public employees so yes, should be public”

“I’m all for names being attached with salaries of public employees. It makes “government” employees real people instead of the oft used binary pronoun “they.” It’s easy to cut education funding if you don’t know the name or names of the person or persons losing their job. Names also come with accountability. Private industry stands or falls by its name. Why should public employees be different? I do find it fascinating that the Wyoming department of education has an issue with this and other government agencies apparently don’t. That in and of itself is telling.”

 

Not Okay To Ask For Names

“I can see no reason for the attachment of names to the salaries of state employees. Position held and salary should be all that is needed.”

“I would think if the list is for budgeting it would be more important to know what position goes with what wage, and how long they have been there. but no names needed.”

“I agree with Balow. No reason at all to have the names.”

“No names are necessary.”

“Absolutely not none of his business.”

“Just the job title and salary. Those who are so imposed to know a name with the position can do their own research. No! I was against the print of salaries when they started it years ago. This is enough.”

“I do not agree with the senator. People should still have some expectation of privacy concerning the release of their name publicly even if they work for the government. He can get all the information he needs from the public lists available from government agencies without making it personal.”

“No it’s really none of his or anyone else business.”

“No, they should remain private.”

Other

“The county does salary one week names the next ..not hard to parallel the two.”

“Then do it for EVERY state employee not just educators. Right now it’s just schools that are being published. Make hwy department and patrols and hospitals and government workers etc if not already.”

“All I can say is this isn’t Utah and I say no names.”

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