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Think Out Loud

Background Checks

Pete Springer/OPB

How well do you know the people who make your city work?

Members of the Lincoln City Council thought they should know more. They agreed to mandate background checks for those applying for all-volunteer committees, such as the planning commission. Currently, the only volunteers required to undergo background checks are those who are unsupervised with children, such as library and community center volunteers.

The new proposal inspired the local newspaper to conduct background checks on City Council members, which uncovered two misdemeanor assault charge against Councilor Gordon Eggleton, who supports background checks for volunteers. This discovery raised questions about whether elected officials should be held to the same standard as volunteers.

Is it important to you whether your public arts committee volunteers pass a background check? What about a drug test or credit check? Should elected officials undergo the same scrutiny?


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OPB | Broadcast: June 7, 2011