Thursday, July 12, 2007

Keeping Secrets

As the ongoing Fecal Follies demonstrate, our area is afflicted with a political class that prefers to operate in total secrecy. There's no legitimate reason why citizens should have to deal with endless legal appeals and FOIL requests just to find out what their government is doing. Public disclosure is the cheapest and most effective way to insure government does it's job, which handily explains why our politicians are so enamored of secrecy.

After reading our appeal letter, four of the five board members agreed that since legally they are required to give us a copy of the assessment database, they were in favor of releasing the information. Everyone voted "aye" except Ward 1 Councilman Robert A. Payne, III who vehemently voted "no" even after the town clerk made it clear that Robert Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government, agreed that legally the information should be released to us. Our appeal even included an Opinion of Counsel from the ORPS website that said that the information was FOILable. But Ward 1 Councilman, Robert A. Payne, III apparently has a disdain and disrespect for the law and he continues to choose to place his personal vendetta above doing what is legally required of him in his job as Ward 1 Councilman. Strange that this would be the first time in almost two (2) years that Councilman Payne chose to vote no on any resolution, particularly given all the shenanigans that have been pointed out on this blog.

It only takes three mouse clicks to burn a data CD. It's taken months of wrangling to get someone to make those clicks.

Anyone see the problem here?