Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dunwoody's first open records request.

Wednesday night after the City Council meeting, I roamed the room talking to various people and stumbled into a conversation with Senator Dan Weber and Dunwoody resident, Steve Ludwick. They were discussing the CH2MHill proposal vs the Hybrid Budget and Dan mentioned a memo he sent to the Dunwoody City Council outlining why the city should be exploring the hybrid budget. Steve looked at me and I confirmed that I received the memo but saw it as a private conversation between two individuals and therefore not meant to be shared on my blog. Mr. Ludwick disagreed stating that it was a public record and then asked that the memo be shared on my blog; in fact he then stated "I want to make this an official open records request for you to share that memo on your site."

Senator Weber and I discussed the document and agreed that it was indeed a public document and that Mr. Ludwick's oral request for open records was indeed proper; therefore Dan suggested that I notify our acting City Attorney, Brian Anderson of the circumstances. I talked to Mr. Anderson today who reviewed the circumstances and agreed that the memo should be provided to Mr. Ludwick; though the City could not compel me to post it on my blog. I informed Mr. Anderson that I ran on a platform of transparency, therefore I will do as specifically as requested by Mr. Ludwick and post the memo.

The e-mail from Dan Weber was sent Tuesday, September 30th at 4:15 PM to the Mayor, all sitting Council Members and the two remaining run off candidates (Wright, Wittenstein, Shortal, Ross, Heneghan, Taylor, Bonzer & Pankey).
Dear Mayor and Council,

I have tried to summarize in a Memo why the hybrid model is the best choice. See attached. Also attached is the Excel workbook containing the three spreadsheets passed out at the work session.

I sincerely hope this helps in your decision making. I am a firm believer that it is best that all views, facts, and figures be presented to decision makers before the decision is made. Thank you again for you willingness to step forward and make this important decision.


The following blog entry will include the text of the memo.

1 comment:

Sight Edman said...

Perhaps it isn't the law but as you say you did run on and continue to adhere to a platform of transparency in government. Given that, it would seem that communications intended to influence or inform your actions as councilman should be made public.

If indeed this memorandum was addressed to the mayor and council, it obviously is a matter of public record.

That this was even subject to debate must cause a reasonable person concern. How many other documents have been viewed, possibly incorrectly, as a private conversation between two individuals when in fact these conversations involve elected officials and concern topics that affect our lives? If you have fallen prey to this, even briefly, I can only imagine what others less committed to open government might be withholding.

Please continue your good work and your commitment to transparency.