You have to wonder sometimes if there is some endless pile of money at city hall. Every so often I have to make a formal request for a document or two. Usually I am given every courtesy and the documents are quickly transmitted either by email or I pick them up at city hall. I have gotten smarter as I have gotten older and usually ask for all documents in electronic form (email). The law states that a agency can charge for copies and some agencies have figured out that by charging a ridiculous amount per copy will often discourage folks from asking…. But if you ask for it in electronic form they can not charge you for the research time.
I recently was told about a meeting between two 29 Palms officials and a Water Board Member. The water board member was shown a power point presentation that accused the water board of improprieties… The water board member felt it was an attempt at strong arming him to change his vote against his support of the local fire department.
I wanted to see this power point myself. I made a formal request for a copy of that power point presentation.
This morning I received a Three Page Letter from the Cities Legal Firm Rutan and Tucker denying me a copy of the power point.
Now if that does not raise a flag I do not know what will. What the hell could be in this power point so bad that they are trying to hide it from the public?
What I am thinking is the City Manager and a councilman without Council approval attempted strong arm tactics to influence a vote of another agency in direct violation of Criminal law and have in essence lawyered up at the expense of the city. Doing so unjustly implicating the whole council. I just don’t know? This is just too weird.
Hey I just asked for a simple copy…. I came into this with eyes wide open and didn’t have my mind set one way or the other. But now I question what is in the presentation that they badly wish to hide.
It must have cost the city $3000.00 to research and write that worthless letter denying me information. They had to send it off to Irvine, have a couple of paralegals do hours of research and some low level lawyer write me a three page letter. The letter complete with points and authorities…. Jesus a simple plain English letter would have done the trick. But hey I am used to being pummeled with bull from these guys…. We have a long and interesting relationship. I would not have expected less. I know what they are saying is if you want to spend the money for a Whit of Mandate we will produce a power point. This is how they silence you. If you are like me and do not have a couple of grand to play with these guys… they have shut you down. That is the facts of life.
What I do think important and you should all have the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, is the obvious lack of transparency of our local City Manager and his ability to spend what ever he feels necessary to keep you the public from seeing inside his cloistered little world of possible criminal activity. It is frightening to realize he can strong arm elected officials from other agencies, and as it would appear, get away with it, with the complete support of the City Attorney.
Tell you the truth…. I do not have to see the power point presentation now….. it was not the Blackmailing that pisses me off, I know it went nowhere, the victim refused to be a victim….. what pisses me off is the cover up… It always seems to be the cover up, doesn’t it?