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(c) "Work product" does not include:
(IV) Any materials that would otherwise constitute work product if such materials are
produced and distributed to the members of a public body for their use or consideration
in a public meeting ...
So the situation of "work product" which Tony Connell cites as being useful is not legal. From other open meetings cases, it would appear that if Tony Connell or any other city council members were to admit that work products were part of their decision making process then that decision is not legal. Just like they cannot pass an ordinance in executive session, they cannot use secret materials when making a decision.
It is this whole philosophy that government can be run in secret with decisions being made with secret information that inspired CORA and COML to be passed in the first place. That if information is good enough to be given to elected officials then it is good enough to be given to the public except in rare situation
This is not to pick on Tony Connell, but to show that the use of "work product" is not a simple way to get around CORA and COML of open records and open meetings with open information.
A campground 5 miles away at Stagecoach Lake is too far away? Any number of campgrounds in the Flat Tops is too far away?
Town of Oak Creek loves writing these government plans as if any fantasy put to paper means it will come true. The Town's Comprehensive Plan describes a pedestrian orientated downtown shopping district as if was the 16th Street Mall, or Carmel.
The trail built last summer goes from Lincoln Ave, over a hill with switchbacks to the Bucket Park on Main St. It is virtually never used with everyone walking along Lincoln to Main St.
There is no requirement in these government plans that any part of them make any economic sense. So the Town keeps adding rarely used infrastructure adding to it's maintenance burdens while things like a broken fire hydrant goes sits broken for years. Road maintenance has taken to deconstructing streets from asphalt to dirt.
Does it come with hashtags #irrelevant #failing and #surrender?
Vail Resorts is beating up the competition by selling tons of low cost season passes. Intrawest is selling a six days each at varied resorts for more than Vail Resorts' season pass. It would be interesting to learn if this announcement ends up with Vail Resorts selling more passes because it removes any hope that there will be a competitive pass from Intrawest.
And here is a simple solution to solve what apologists such as Kenny Reisman says is a "no-win" situation.
RELEASE IT! Name any scenario in which city staff considering parking meters gains anything by not being released to the public. Why would it make any difference if the city government had said there was just a mere thought that staff should research the concept of metered parking?
RELEASE IT! How would it have made any difference for city to say they are expecting to get possession of a Barn Village parcel through foreclosure and were thinking of seeing if it could be used to swap for a site for the police station. Maybe some other owner of a long time vacant commercial lot say they'd like to trade for a multi-family lot and give the city better options. There would be more benefit from releasing it than from keeping it secret.
New council member Tony Connell said he “was not against getting work product as long as it's unbiased and it's setting the stage for my decision.”
Well, if that statement is true then CORA is explicit that the work product has to be released! A primary principle of CORA is that public decisions are the result of a public process. Thus, decisions cannot be based upon secret communications from city staff.
I agree that secretive work product memos run counter to the concept of public government.
If a majority of the city council lacks the commitment to open and public government then all is not lost. Particularly since the work product memos were not reviewed by the city attorney, it is highly likely to include public information and thus can be released after the confidential portions have been redacted.
I don't know if a city council member is given the privilege of being allowed to ask the city attorney to review a work product memo and ask for a redacted version to be released. That would seem to be the easiest path and to be a fair corrective measure considering the city staff had agreed to send work products to the city attorney for legal review prior to being given to the city council.
I have submitted CORA requests in the past to this city government and had them rejected. I could have taken the city to court, but that is a tough road when I didn't know what was in the documents and whether they actually contained anything that should have been released.
But the city council members have seen the originals and if any of them were to submit an open records request that is denied then they can provide an affidavit to the court that there are portions that do include info that cannot legally kept secret and thus ask the court to order the release of a redacted version.
So, for instance, the paid parking "work product" could have been requested via CORA and the city could have kept secret any plans for paid parking, but would have to release the portion that had any statistics on paid parking and so on.
Likewise, the city's plan of a land swap with the hospital for the foreclosed parcel would be confidential, but the fact that city was foreclosing on a lot in the Barn Village and so on was public information.
I would also suggest that city council adopt of policy that either work product is important and should be discussed in executive session, or is mundane and should be released to the public.
A quick read of CORA suggests to me that "work product" is pretty limited Early drafts of reports or legislation counts as work product, but there must be a final version.
Work product does not include: (rest copied from CORA)
(A) Comparisons of existing laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations with the provisions
of any bill, amendment, or proposed law, ordinance, rule, or regulation; comparisons of
any bills, amendments, or proposed laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations with other
bills, amendments, or proposed laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations; comparisons of
different versions of bills, amendments, or proposed laws, ordinances, rules, or
regulations; and comparisons of the laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations of the
jurisdiction of the elected official with the laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations of other
(B) Compilations of existing public information, statistics, or data;
(C) Compilations or explanations of general areas or bodies of law, ordinances, rules, or
regulations, legislative history, or legislative policy.
Thus, if the :"work product" seems mundane then it would seem to include information not requiring confidentiality. The annotated case law states that documents are to have confidential info redacted and release the public information. Therefore, Scott Ford or any concerned city council members could submit a CORA request for the "work product" and expect for a redacted version to be released.
Any organization the size of SB city government should have no trouble finding many projects with less than a 10 year payback period.
Yes, that is so tragic. It means there is a gun without it's magazine. I hear there will be a candlelight vigil tonight.
“Last year, we gave (city staff) direction that it's not one of our top-five goals,” Kounovsky said. “It could be this year and then we might say 'go.'”
And, just like the police station, what is claimed to have changed to transform a lower priority goal into a top five goal? Absolutely nothing. This is the heart of what is wrong with the city council and city government. Anything can be any priority at any time.
There is no record or documentation on why it was a lower priority or why anything else was a higher priority. There is no process for changing priorities or expectation that the priorities remain the same until the city council reassesses priorities.
No, anything can be any priority at any time. That is management and oversight incompetence.
Last login: Saturday, February 15, 2014
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