According to documents obtained from the Texas Ethics Advisory Board, open records requests submitted by this citizen watchdog group to the City of Tomball, in context with statements made by Mayor Fagan (her own words) make it clear that open records requests are a nuisance to the City of Tomball.
In this “yourhoustonnews” opinion piece from October 6, 2010 Mayor Fagan scolded those she described as “outsider” citizen watchdog groups when she wrote:
The protestors can no longer claim they are the “fiscal conservatives” while costing Tomball taxpayers money on police patrols, arrests and open records requests. The City staff that you pay for is spending a tremendous amount of time researching and answering open records requests from this group.
The last sentence of her opinion piece reads:
Let’s work together…..
Really? That’s a brazenly outrageous and hypocritical statement to make when taken in context with the documents obtained from TEAB. You can read them by following the links below and then decide for yourself.
The documents outline:
- a failure of the City, by at least 64 pages, to be responsive to the Public Information Request.
- a failure to provide (as of Monday May 9, 2011), per Texas Tax Code Sec.351.108 RECORDS (a)… a record that accurately identifies the receipt and expenditures of all revenue derived from the tax imposed under this chapter.
- the names of nine individuals who may sign checks and/or authorize electronic funds transfers on behalf of the City of Tomball (April 28th, para 2).
- a refusal to recognize the ten day required response time and the alternative of setting a date and hour when the materials will be available if a deep search is necessary. (April 28th, para. 2).
The City of Tomball would rather complicate matters precipitating an investigation by an Open Records Investigator of the Texas Attorney General’s office? Wouldn’t that add even MORE time spent “researching and answering open records requests”?
Now, about those bronze statues the City of Tomball installed at the Railroad Depot.
On Sunday I visited the Railroad Depot and Railroad Depot Gazebo where the statues are located. You’ll read about that adventure in Part II.
Here’s a picture of the Railroad Conductor statue and the gazebo …(click picture to enlarge)
Isn’t it ironic that over $100,000 was spent on these three beautiful Sandra Van Zandt bronze statues…meant to make Tomball a “destination city”…which of course would generate more hotel occupancy tax (HOT) income….and the statues are not even advertised prominently on the City website?