Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bessemer Curb Market Secrets Continue

On Friday I wrote   A Strange Answer To A Public Information Request. Things just weren't adding up. It wasn't so much the volume of e-mail as it was the volume of e-mail being refused to me for reasons that just don't make sense. And why are City officials prying into the business and personal taxes of the owners of Bessemer Curb Market? 

With the City's reply things got weirder so I posted The Bessemer Curb Market Saga Continues again with no real answers to my questions. It's like someone really doesn't want me to know.

Yesterday I got the following response from the City of Greensboro:

"Hello Mr.  Jones,

If you would like to try once more to download the file, I would be happy to make it available again on the FTP server.  However, since the first attempt was unsuccessful, if you have a portable memory device, I can also upload the file onto this for you.  Please advise which method you would prefer.  Our system shows that the PDF file is 1,012,288 KB.

With regard to your questions concerning the redactions, we ran the email search using the key terms “Bessemer Curb Market” and “932 East Bessemer Avenue” to gather the information you requested.  As a result, many of the emails collected mention the Bessemer Curb Market, not in the context of a discussion about this particular business, but rather as part of a list along with hundreds of other business in Greensboro.

19 such emails included “local tax records that contain information about a taxpayer's income or receipts,” which is not a public record pursuant to NCGS 160A – 208.1, and these records were removed.

Additionally, there were records captured by the email search that referenced the Bessemer Curb Market simply as a landmark, but do not include a discussion of their business or owners.  This was the case with the seven emails that were removed pursuant to NCGS 160A – 168. 

I hope this information addresses your concerns, but please feel free to follow up with me if you have any further questions.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator
Communications and Marketing Department - 336-373-3282
City of Greensboro
PO Box 3136, Greensboro, NC 27402-3136"

I decided instead to ponder it a little while before replying. This is the reply I just sent:

" Katherine,

Here's what I've decided to do. Obviously someone doesn't want to make it easy for myself and others to get this information or it would have been split up into smaller files that could have more easily been downloaded. And you are absolutely correct that I cannot push the City of Greensboro into giving me e-mails that are protected by NCGS 160A – 168 as Ronda and Harold's personal and business taxes are in fact their personal business and not subject to public information release.
That said, unless the City of Greensboro can provide Ronda and Harold with a warrant issued before City officials began prying into Harold and Ronda's personal and business finances said records were also no business of the City of Greensboro. And as City Attorney Tom Carruthers will confirm to you, should Harold and/or Ronda request said records you have no choice but to release said records to Harold, Ronda or anyone Harold or Ronda deems fit to see said records.
Now being that the City of Greensboro has yet to show us where a warrant was served before prying into Harold and Ronda's personal and business taxes I'm going to assume that Harold and Ronda have good cause to file a law suit against the City of Greensboro. (Especially now that I've made this e-mail public.)
So rather that push you for e-mails your employer obviously doesn't want to release I'm going to suggest Harold and Ronda hire an attorney of their own and seek damages against the City of Greensboro. After all, this is a civil rights issue and the dollar figure could be enough to attract lots of big name lawyers. 
I can always wait and write about the law suit later.
Have a nice day.
-Billy Jones, your friendly, freelance neighborhood Tyrannicide
PS. It's nothing personal, Katherine, you're just stuck doing what your bosses haven't the balls to do. ☺"

I know when I'm beat. This one is out of range for me, someone else will have to give it their best shot.