by Melissa Brunner
In the process of getting you the most clear, accurate information available, we can't say enough about the value of a good public information officer.
Ron Keefover is one of the good ones. His tenure at the Kansas Judiciary dates back more than 32 years. Ron announced this week that he's set a date for retirement - Sept. 13. I, for one, will miss him.
From the most basic standpoint, Ron is the guy who translates what can be confusing legalize into sentences the average person can understand. It's of incredible value when we in the news media are trying to quickly determine just what the decision is that we're looking at!
From a broader standpoint, Ron has been a champion for media and, by extension, public access to the courts. For his part, Ron credited the Justices with whom he's worked for their willingness to join him in his endeavors for openness and transparency. Ron oversaw implementation of a huge one - allowing cameras and electronic recording devices into courtrooms. It was a victory for journalists when it happened and, as it encountered bumps in the road over the years, Ron was the perfect liaison for mediating those concerns.
Upon learning of his retirement, I jokingly told Ron to forgive me in advance if I call him at home with a question some night out of habit! He's been a part of our newsgathering process for a long time and he definitely has not overstayed his welcome.
All the best to you, Ron. Thanks for giving us your best all these years.