Yesterday we examined yet another instance of City Hall foot-dragging over public records requests.
River Run Family Water Park: Why won’t the city of New Albany comply with the law and grant Randy Smith’s public records request to view the financials?
Once again the city’s corporate attorney Shane Gibson oversees Team Gahan’s activities in a manner indistinguishable from William Barr’s, but let’s move ahead to a comment by regular blog reader RW:
“I was under the impression public records had to be made public. Any newspaper can request these be given for we the people. Am I incorrect?”
You are correct in theory, but if governmental entities don’t comply, there isn’t a pathway to compel them short of a lawsuit. Hence the traditional “Fourth estate” role of the newspaper in making issues like this public, a task which our biased Jefferonsvile-centric News and Tribune typically refuses to exercise; reporters show interest, but management likes Jeff Gahan’s advertising income a bit too much.
And yes, there is the Indiana Public Access Counselor, who can make rulings pro or con, but enforcement mechanisms are lacking. Gahan’s sycophantic city hall is a persistent violator, but again, short of hiring a lawyer and seeking a judge, little can be done to bring them to the table.
Obviously this needs to change. In Gahan’s case, the handiest expedient is underway as we speak: Election 2019, and an opportunity to drain the swamp.