Arp's Theory Part III
|At least one of County Mayor
Doyle Arp's schemes to dominate and control county government fell flat
at Monday's commission
meeting. Apparently commissioners refused to lock step behind Arp's absurd policy for hindering, delaying and denying the public's
right to public records. In fact all ten commissioners voted to remove
his proposal from the agenda sighting a host of problems with his
resolution. Several commissioners spoke very strongly in opposition to
the mayor's plan and in favor of the public's rights, openness and
transparency in government indicating Arp's plan failed to do this. Arp
was not at the meeting. The resolution that was presented at Monday's
meeting had been altered from the earlier version adding language that
would enforce Arp's plan not just
for the County mayor's office but also "the offices of all
appointed department heads." Another little proviso added to the
new version stated:
"Notwithstanding the foregoing, as a courtesy to its citizens, the
County will provide up to twenty-four (24) minutes of personnel time per
month, per requester, at no charge." I assume this was suppose
to appease those who oppose Arp's plan. The latter was incorrectly
reported on knoxnews.com
as allowing for 24 free copies per month.
The laws pertaining to public records are so very simple.
TCA 10-7-503........All state, county and municipal records . . . shall at all times, during business hours, be open for personal inspection by any citizen of Tennessee, and those in charge of such records shall not refuse such right of inspection to any citizen.........
TCA-10-7-506 In all cases where any person has the right to inspect any such public records, such person shall have the right to take extracts or make copies thereof, and to make photographs or photostats of the same while such records are in the possession, custody and control of the lawful custodian thereof or such custodian's authorized deputy; provided, that the lawful custodian of such records shall have the right to adopt and enforce reasonable rules governing the making of such extracts, copies, photographs or photostats. Arp seems to be the only one who wants to make things complicated. The mayor has already spent thousands and thousands of tax dollars on court and legal fees trying to defend and implement his illegal policy. The true cost is unknown because the mayor's office has refused access to these records. In fact the cost paid in legal fees thus far would have paid for 400,000 copies at 5 cents each. That would be 133,333 copies for each member of the "Triple A Club" as Arp likes to call them. It may have been a lot cheaper for the tax payers to have just let citizens have the copies. Several attorneys with the legal firm representing Arp also contributed to his campaign fund.
Even after Monday's commission meeting and after commission making their views clear that they do not support Arp's proposal, there still seems to be a problem getting requested information. For several years now, after the adoption of the new county fiscal budget, I have asked for and received county salary information. As a commissioner this was valuable information. In fact this was how I first discovered that Mr. Arp as property assessor had issued unauthorized raises and added extra staff to his payroll.
The mayor still seems to be throwing up obstacles to obtaining records. See the string below.
We'll have to wait and see how this turns out. How much longer can the mayor continue to hide from the inevitable?