Thursday, October 20, 2016

Adding To Roch's Pile: Part 15

 Are Recent Changes To Greensboro's Public Information Policy Another Attempt To Deceive?

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, I posted Forcing Change To Greensboro, in which I wrote of changes to the City of Greensboro's public information policy approved by City Attorney Tom Carruthers and City Manager Jim Westmoreland. You can find the text of the letter here as posted by Abner Doon.

I didn't tout the changes as they looked suspect to me. I've since learned there have been a series of meetings going on between the city, local journalist and local bloggers, to discuss public records to which I was never invited to attend.

But wait, it gets better. Councilman Mike Barber stepped in to address the concerns of some of the bloggers and journalists who were invited to attend the meetings I was left out of:

And then there's this reply from Roch Smith Jr who was at those meetings which rips it all apart:

To which City Manager Jim Westmoreland waves a white flag:

Seems our local journalist are concerned about an attempt to hide e-mails between staff and City Council members from public view while making public only those e-mails sent to City Council via the e-mail city council form on the City website.

In other words, according to them, and contrary to North Carolina state statutes, only e-mails sent by the public are subject to public records laws.

If at first we practice to deceive...

So the policy that became policy earlier this week is policy no more. The official launch date of the City's open data portal is set for today, October 20, 2016 and policy is not yet set proving what I suspected, 

"After years of being lied to and put off it is hard to suddenly trust they are doing the right thing just because they're being sued."

Mayor Vaughan and City Staff can keep playing me for stupid. But remember, I'm not fighting this fight alone. This time, even Councilman Barber has taken my side.

And because of having to rework all those dozens, if not hundreds of public information requests, the City is no longer in compliance with their 30 day extension to reply to my lawsuit which ended 2 days ago, no matter what their reply might be.

And Councilman Barber, Got a funny story for you. It got back to Carruthers that I was questioning the City's use of N.C.G.S. § 160A-168, Now, without anyone asking, the City is reopening dozens of PIRTs and filling those same PIRTs a second time. And the deadline for the City to reply to the suit was 2 days ago plus mail time.

Now it needs to get back to Carruthers that I'm questioning the City's use of N.C.G.S. § 132-6(d) as well as N.C.G.S. § 143-318.10. That will put their panties in a wad.
And Roch's Pile grows ever larger. with  Adding To Roch's Pile: Part 16