In times when many feel that government is becoming darker and less transparent, the Riverside County supervisors plan to take a step in the openness direction.

The county’s policy on electronic media (A-50) requires that all emails — either sent or received — shall be deleted after 45 days. There is no exception.

However, at the Tuesday, Oct. 29 session, Supervisors Kevin Jeffries (First District) and Jeff Stone (Third District) asked their colleagues to double the retention period to 90 days.

“The current policy results in the deletion of many records that can be useful in the conduct of business and more importantly, can impede the ability of a constituent to receive relevant information from an otherwise timely Public Records Act request,” they wrote in their memorandum to the board.

“Telling a constituent that all records relating to a meeting held less than two months ago have already been deleted fuels suspicion and can make it difficult for staff to produce evidence that might otherwise prove their compliance with regards to alleged violations of policies or statutes,” they argued.

J.P. Crumrine can be reached at [email protected]