We put a significant amount of time and effort over the past months reporting about the Metro Regional Transit Authority and its executive director.

The Metro RTA board has been wrestling with questions surrounding the leadership of Richard Enty since last spring. On Friday, the board fired Enty after an investigation into ethics and harassment complaints.

Metro RTA is a public agency that not only provides bus services but — more importantly — also gets its funding from you through taxes, federal grants and other public sources. In this way Metro RTA is no different than city councils, school boards and other government agencies that spend money provided by the public they serve.

Part of our job is to let you know what our government agencies are doing on your behalf with your money. We send reporters to cover meetings and ask questions of public officials on your behalf. Many of the stories we write are routine explanations of government functions and how they affect our neighborhoods, cities and county.

Our reporter who covers Metro RTA, Rick Armon, took particular note last April when issues arose there. He is a good reporter who asked the right questions. He also sought documents from the board.

Ohio has a public records law. The reason is to ensure openness in our government. The public via news organizations such as the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com has the right not only to attend meetings, but also to have access to documents and records produced by our government.

We call these “sunshine laws.” You can look at Ohio’s public records resource manual at http://www.ohioattorney general.gov/yellowbook

There are some exceptions: Personnel matters and discussions about such things as real estate transactions may be done behind closed doors in “executive” (secret) meetings. Votes about those matters must take place before the public.

We have been aggressive in our pursuit of records surrounding the controversy at Metro RTA by making formal requests for documents the board is using to make its decisions.

We and Metro RTA have disagreed about what constitutes a public record. Taking the matter before a judge is one option. But we start with asking our lawyer to talk with their lawyer to seek a resolution.

That happened this past week when we received more than 370 pages of documents from Metro RTA. These pages revealed information used by a law firm to investigate charges of misconduct against director Enty.

We put our time and effort into this so that you know what is going on with your government and your money. That is our job.

Oops!

There are times that we do not do our job well.

That was the case in Friday’s Beacon Journal when we reported that NASA was honoring astronauts who died aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, including Akron native Judy Resnik. Of course we know that Judy Resnik died in the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.

Sometimes in our rush to make deadline, we make mistakes. That was the case here. We published a correction Saturday.

When we make a mistake, we acknowledge it with a correction and try to learn from it so we do not repeat it.

Thanks to those of you took the time to contact us. We will do better next time.

Bruce Winges is editor of the Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com. He may be reached at 330-996-3858, bwinges@thebeaconjournal.com or @BruceWingesABJ