Save Yourself - They Won't

   Documents...Who owns them and where are they?

 

I am a root cause person. I like to know why things really are the way they are.

To that end, I believe any reasonable person can come to an educated conclusion when they have all the information available.

Unfortunately, in many governments, including Lafayette, there appears to be an attitude of you don't need to know that. In fact, sometimes you even hear that said out loud.

Guess what? We do need to know that, or you just look crooked. Sometimes we find out you are crooked and got away with it because those elected to pay attention don't. But, mostly, we find out why a decision was really made, for the good or bad of it.

More often than not, when I have requested documents, I have located some anomaly with what transpired. The way contracts were entered into, finances that don't add up, etc. But, mostly, I just want a clearer picture of what is happening.

The city has taken the stance they are posting more documents. They add council packets and agendas, in haphazard way. But, there is no backup documentation regarding finances. The only financial information provided is what they generate. They say they paid a bill, but they don't provide the bill. They say they made a deposit, yet offer no proof. They say we earned an interest amount, but don't have any documentation available for that, either.

When Mayor Heisler ran for office, he promised clearer budgets. Since Preston Polasek has come on board, the budgets are actually worse than ever - in one case, apparently, we earned $500.00 interest for both a $124,000.00 balance and a $290,000.00 balance. Where are we banking that it would be so different?

Mayor Heisler also promised more clarity in how the city operates, then ridicules those that ask for clarity.

The  city is allowed by law to charge for documents. The law that allows this was mandated by the State and is antiquated. It was written during a time before email, scanners and websites were readily available and low cost. I am working on changing that state law. In the meantime, Lafayette needs to get into this century. As it stands, when other people and agencies need documents, they come to me first. In one case, I am the only person who had the document because the city "lost" it after "forgetting" to file it, as required.

The documents fee resolution is not applied equitably or even followed, at times. Recently, I was told I would have to pay almost 20 bucks for documents, that according to the resolution should have been less than two. Many people, if they are friends with the Heisler's or Preston Polasek, aren't paying at all.

This needs to be changed. I have asked for this to be an agenda item in September with zero acknowledgment from the city.

We pay for the staff, the machines, the paper and everything else involved to get information into the hands of the people that are paying the bill. I have more website traffic than the city does because I have more information. I am the best provider of the content.

I will not be giving them another dime for documents, and neither should you.

The more secretive the city becomes and antiquated it stays, the more obsolete they are. The services they provide are minimal. Eventually, they will cease to exist. It would be nice if the documents lived somewhere else than where they get "lost".