Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Adding To Roch's Pile: Part 9

I wish to begin this post with a quote from a man I know only from Facebook, Brian Dowtin, who writes:
"What if the story of Icharus has taught us the wrong lesson? - we instinctively fear the too lofty goal - and for good reason .. but more to this - ( and I think the writer considered it a given) 

I would introduce a second son: Sticarous who stayed in the Labyrinth and made a deal with the Miniotair: in exchange for having his life spared -he would hide all day and clean the bones and blood from the labyrinth each night, having them also as his food. This is our lesson - fear of Dismal goals..This other lesson is: fear goals that we don't want. Cringe, run, and take flight from goals that are suboptimal - goals that lie beneath our strength, ability, usefulness and purpose."

Is it too lofty a goal to expect our elected leaders to stand up for what is right, to give us open and honest, transparent governance, to make public records truly public? After all, you, Dear taxpayers, do own these records and the courts have ruled they are public.

And the Internet gives us the means to make them public without our having to ask for them each time we wish to see them. But sadly our elected leaders still demand public records be kept hidden from the public-- why?

Public records are at the heart of every issue involving government. There is no issue more important than how our public records are handled.

Police body cameras are a matter of public records. Public land deals are a matter of public records. Arrests and crimes are a matter of public records. The deals our elected leaders make with developers are a matter of public records. Who gets taxpayer dollars and how those dollars are spent are a matter of public record

And yet as this e-mail from Roch Smith jr points out, our Greensboro City Council refuses to act, refuses to do anything about a problem they have been made aware of repeatedly-- why?

"On Wed, Sep 21, 2016 at 7:20 AM, <> wrote:
26 days ago I made a request for public records that, in all likelihood, is but a single email, PIRT# 6063.
I have not received this record.
Billy Jones' lawsuit is not without merit. If the City cannot do a better job -- now -- of responding to records requests unless it is sued, it will invite more such suits.
How about some leadership?
-- Roch"

Roch didn't get my reply as his e-mail server is currently bouncing my e-mails but he'll read it here just as the entire Greensboro City Council read it:


Billy Jones <>

8:27 AM (2 hours ago)

to sysop, Nancy, Sharon, Marikay, Tony, Justin, Yvonne.Johnson, Mike, Jamal, Nancy, Margaret, Carla, Jeffrey, Katherine, Jim, bcc: George, bcc: me, bcc: Trudy.Wade, bcc: Kathy
And leadership we will have like it or not. My lawsuit will continue even if the PIRTS are filled as the basis for the lawsuit still exists-- public information is deliberately being delayed and withheld. Even the PIRTs filled yesterday were far from complete as noted here:
The City's attempts to reduce the readership of myself and other critics via the use of Research Management Consultants Inc and other such firms will only go farther to make my case.
Mr Smith worked hard, without pay to help the City craft a PIRT policy that worked and the Greensboro City Council has sit idly by while the process was deliberately ruined. Privately, every journalist, blogger and activist in this city has voiced complaints-- soon all will be complaining loudly and very publicly while at the same time the Greensboro City Council attempts to secure the release of public records at the state level. Don't be surprised if Friends of the Court letters from locals start showing up in Raleigh to remind the court there you are not above the crimes you claim have been committed against you.
I'm sure Senator Wade will be happy to assist any of us who need help in drafting such letters.

And any elected leader who doesn't speak out against these practices will be doomed politically. Your silence speaks volumes.
-Billy Jones, Candidate for Mayor of Greensboro, 2017"

Yes, I did BCC my e-mail to Senator Wade and her assistant. Not that I'm necessarily a fan but it is how the game is played. The Greensboro City Council cannot legally justify suing the State Legislature for failing to comply with public records requests while at the same time failing to comply with public records requests of their own.

And might I remind you that we here in Greensboro have waited far longer than our City Council has waited. It is time for change.

So will the Greensboro City Council reply?  I guess you'll have to come back for Adding To Roch's Pile: Part 10 to find out. I'll let you know as soon as I find out.

For you see, I don't consider open and honest government to be too lofty a goal to expect. I think we simply need to demand it. For if we are ever going to have trust and faith in government we must have it.

Or we can spend our nights cleaning up blood and bones.