|Elected official attempting to gain information to
help make rational and appropriate decisions often need information and
documents from a variety of sources. In most instances citizens and
elected officials alike are able to obtain requested information with
little difficulty. Unfortunately that's not the case when making
requests through Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp.
Since the day he took office Arp has taken every opportunity to delay or in some cases deny public information to the public. It seems sometimes it's a matter of what the requested information is determines how difficult it is to get.
As the board of education begins it's budgeting process, members need lots of information to deliberate on and ultimately vote for a budget. Last week I requested a couple of items needed for the process.
For eight years I have requested a copy of the 1099 lists. This list is simply a list of names of individuals and companies who receive any money from the county without any tax withholding. This information helps to analyze payroll data. It's not uncommon to find some interesting names on the list.
Below is a copy of the "records production letter" mentioned above. The 1099 documents I requested normally take about two strokes on a keyboard to retrieve and send. But in the world where Arp is king and where secrets are so important, public records are rarely easily accessed and there are no assurances that the requested information hasn't been altered. See note in letter: "retrieving, reviewing, and/or redacting the requested records."
If it's this hard for an elected official to get public records from Arp's office, I suspect others could have the same problem. Hopefully, I will be able to get the public records I requested before the BOE budget process is over. This is so silly.
RECORDS PRODUCTION LETTER