Arp Has Huge Victory
|With the judge's ruling that Mayor Arp can charge
$23.47 per hour and 7 cents per page for copies of public records, Arp
can now claim a huge victory over the citizens of Loudon County. Arp has
made it abundantly clear that he will not tolerate pesky citizens nosing
around in public records and getting copies of those records. Willing to
spend as much tax payer's money as is necessary to prove his point, Arp
is vindicated in his stance to shut the public out of public records.
$25,000.00 to $30,000.00 later, he showed them, he showed everybody he
was right. Mayor Arp has struck a great blow against those citizens who
would dare challenge his authority.
PUBLIC SERVANT a title that has now apparently been lost in Loudon County. Every elected or appointed official have but one priority, serving the public. The very people who pay all government bills. Their primary functions are not payroll, not purchasing not tax collecting not mowing the grass. It's serving the public, period. All other activities required by their job titles takes a back seat to PUBLIC SERVICE. If a citizen approaches a government official then that government official should address that citizens request, concern or issue immediately.
With his newly acquired court decision in his hand, Arp can now charge citizens a fee high enough to prohibit the average person from daring to request copies of important documents. Imagine asking for a copy of the latest budget. 75-100 pages. There's no telling what the cost would be which essentially would prohibit most folks from obtaining a copy of the budget.
Where does local government get it's money? It produces nothing, it sells no product, so how does government get it's money to buy copy paper, copy machines, pay salaries, pay benefits, ETC.? The money comes from your pocket and mine in the form of property taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes and so on and so on. So if you and I are paying all the bills, does that not make the government and and everyone in it our employees? I think it does. So, should we not expect our employees to work for us? I think we should. So, does that not mean that we have already paid for copy paper, copy machines, paid salaries, paid benefits, ETC.? I think it does.
Something is way out of whack. But until we have elected and appointed officials who understand that they work for us and not the other way around and that they are still PUBLIC SERVANTS and are willing to act that way, things are likely to get much worse.