Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Forcing Change To Greensboro

Still think all our efforts here at EzGreensboro.com have been a complete waste of time? As of today it has been exactly 30 days since the City of Greensboro filed their request with the court to grant them a 30 day extension in which to reply to my lawsuit against the City of Greensboro for failing to properly handle public information requests.

Today I received the following e-mail from the City of Greensboro along with an attachment linked below:

"Dear Mr. Sykes and Mr. Jones,
Thank you for your public records request (PIRT 5619) regarding correspondences related to the Cascade Saloon.
The City Manager recently approved modifications to the City’s PIRT policy.  Please refer to the Manager’s memorandum which is attached.  We have conducted an unfiltered email search, within your requested date range, using the following parameters: “Cascade Saloon”.  All communications transferred through the City’s server have not been filtered; therefore, non-responsive and duplicative emails are being provided.  Only emails which are protected pursuant to the Public Records Law will be withheld and an explanation provided.
Please note that we have re-opened PIRT 5619 to provide you with additional documents pursuant to the recent modification of the PIRT policy.  In doing so, we have identified a total of 1303 emails based on your search terms and parameters.  Of that number, 1237 emails are being provided to you, as 37 emails were withheld as protected pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 160A-168, and 29 emails were withheld as protected pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 132-6(d) as well as N.C.G.S.  § 143-318.10.
Due to the size of the file, these records have been saved onto a disk which you may pick up at the City Information Desk on the plaza level of the Melvin Municipal Office Building between 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


Katherine Carter, Public Records Administrator
Communications and Marketing Department - 336-373-3282
City of Greensboro"
PIRT Policy Modification

Note: It took over 27 weeks and a lawsuit to get PIRT 5619 filled. And we still don't know if they are being honest with us. 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. After all, I'm not asking for any money.

I also got e-mails telling me the City had reopened
PIRT 5782, titled Kotis, submitted by me, PIRT 5754, Zack Methany, submitted by Jeff Sykes, and PIRT 5226, documents and/or communications between individuals in the City’s Executive Office and representatives of Say Yes to Education. submitted by John Hammer.

They had to reopen
PIRT 5754, Zack Methany, because I was going to keep them in court for about 6 months as the judge read through all those redacted e-mails. Only the City Manager and City Attorney work for City Council, therefore Zack Matheny, Mayor Vaughan, and City Council should not be receiving an e-mails as protected pursuant to N.C.G.S. § 160A-168,  Privacy of employee personnel records. And if they are then there are some City of Greensboro employees whose rights have been violated.

You see, only supervisors are allowed to see employee records and Zack Methany, Mayor Vaughan, and the City Council only supervise 2 people-- Jim Westmoreland and Tom Carruthers. This constant use of 160-A-160 will not stand up in court and Tom Carruthers knows I'm right.

I should be getting a letter in the mail in the next day or two telling me of the City's response to my suit. I don't know what the ultimate outcome will be but we have forced change and done what people thought couldn't be done. I cannot lose. No judge is going to rule that making people wait for a year to answer a public information request is a reasonable amount of time.

I was the one who suggested they put public records online 2 years ago. The official launch date of the City's open data portal is set for October 20, 2016.

And a whole bunch of Greensboro's connected people are sweating bullets.