Letter: Public records act essential for vigilant and responsive citizenry
Jun 28, 2013 | 4217 views | 0 0 comments | 174 174 recommendations | email to a friend | print

EDITOR,

 

The Press-Banner published an informative opinion citing situation of our local government that were revealed under the California Public Records Act (“Transparency under attack by state,” June 21, page 4). Recently citizens of the Monte Fiore subdivision made requests for public document to City of Scotts Valley regarding questionable actions associated with providing potable water to their homes. The city reacted with a policy that makes it actually or nearly impossible to obtain any document from them. The most ridiculously comical situation of them all is the Scotts Valley Water District; with millions of dollars in revenues and expenses and many thousands of suppliers, rate payers, billings, and voters, they alleges to not have an indexed filing system and since they are only required to provide and not to have an indexed filing system; they can't provide what they don't have. How great is that!

Our city and the water district may be accused of fraud for collecting state tax payers funds for implementing the California Public Records Act, and then, regardless of the legal or morale issues involved, place obstacles to obstruct access. With no public oversight of governmental matters, they are handled by the executive manager and their board of directors and by default conveniently treated similar as moral issues that happens in Vegas, stay in Vegas. The public right to freedom of the press and access to public documents only intercept and small percentage of improper government actions and is no substitute for a vigilant and responsive electorate.

 

John Crivello, Scotts Valley

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