Want to find a financial disclosure form for your mayor? Trying to investigate whether your county commissioner has disclosed any recent conflicts of interest? Curious about whether a city commissioner has disclosed some pricey freebies from developers?
You better be ready to do some good old-fashioned telephone dialing and probably drive around to various government offices to check out the documents.
Although government agencies have vastly expanded what they put online -- lengthy budget documents, decades of minutes and in Coral Gables even a video showing residents how to drive through a traffic circle -- they have avoided putting documents online that are about elected officials' finances. Government agencies say they get too many and that it would be difficult to do, but is that just an excuse?