It’s like this.
These information requests are about money. The money comes from taxes, not an elected official’s alchemy lab.
Taxpayers in the broadest sense have a perfect right to ask how their money is being spent. If there is day-to-day institutional transparency and the expenditures are available for open perusal and discussion, it’s all good, but when these conditions are absent, these citizens also have the right to pursue a resolution according to state-established procedures, and this is what some of those who have been deprived of answers have found it necessary to do.
Why? Because Team Gahan has not complied with procedure, because this non-compliance is illegal, and because the buck stops with Jeff Gahan.
Gahan would have you believe that the Indiana public access counselor’s findings on behalf of complainants is a political conspiracy against him, but his self-serving paranoia isn’t relevant, because the issue of timing cuts both ways.
Just remember this: these requests date back months. At any point over a period of months, Gahan’s underlings might have cooperated in the spirit of doing the bare minimum required of their job descriptions — not to mention honoring the stipulations of Indiana state law.
However, as we’ve observed so many times before, Gahan’s political imperatives always intrude — the habitual secrecy, the lust for control, and the bizarre certainty that anyone who differs with his power games is a threat to be checked stymied rather than the person who pays his inflated effing salary.
In a final instance of raging hypocrisy, Gahan informs the typically somnolent News and Tribune in effect that he believes someone living outside city limits forfeits the right to ask questions of him.
And yet, how many hundred thousand dollars has he been given by special interests with mailing addresses … that’s right, outside city limits?
NEW ALBANY — Three Floyd County residents have filed a civil lawsuit against the City of New Albany, for failing to fulfill open records requests.
The lawsuit was filed by Irvin Stumler, Stephen Roberts and Heather Peters in Floyd County Superior Court No. 2. The suit comes following the opinion of Public Access Counselor Luke Britt that the city violated the Access to Public Records law.
The trio filed the suit Friday. The requests for information covered a variety of topics, including legal fees incurred or paid by the City of New Albany, electronic correspondence and revenue and expenses of the River Run Family Water Park.
“What is at play here goes far beyond individuals request for information. At its core, it is all about the ideal of open and transparent government,” states a news release from the three. “What brings us here today is a consistent pattern of failing to acknowledge, let alone respond, to a citizen’s inquiry into the affairs of local government” …