Gerber: to be one-stop for top stories

We all know local government keeps public schools open, puts out fires, arrests bad guys and picks up garbage. But many of us often see it as vast and unapproachable.

The truth is, government is us; it's our way of making sure - or at least trying to make sure - that our community not only keeps running and keeps growing but also keeps improving.

We elect local leaders, but we still must be an integral part of government, not just people standing on the sidelines, simply observing. We need to watch our government, discuss its successes and failures, and let our elected leaders know what we think, what we want.

The Times Free Press seeks to accomplish that task every day, and as a result, the newspaper's website now contains a wealth of information about county and city government - stories, photos, budgets and other documents.