In a recent column I openly commented on the bad habit of the town government not getting information out to the people in a quick and easy manner until after the decisions have been made. A fact that does not sit well for me.
I talked about the specific problem of them asking during a town council meeting for comments on the budget that was not available to people. On June 10th during the meeting I emailed one council member to ask them how they can ask for such comments when the budget was not online, or free, or easy to acquire.
I hope you get this while the meeting is occurring.Regretfully they could not connect to the net, but my column a few weeks later did ask. The council member did reply and said that they would ask the town manager, but since then I have not heard anything back.
How can you have public comment when the budget is not online? Most people cannot afford to purchase a hard copy or cd.
To my joy I noticed early last week the following words on the town website. The line reads "2008-2009 annual budget and capital improvement plans". "About damn time" was my first thought...followed by "why the hell is the link not working?" Yep. The words are there, but like a tease at a bar...you aint getting anything from them.
Sadly this budget which is put together in another county, and voted on two times, and only available in formats that cost a damn bit more then I can afford, is still not online. Here we are into the second month of the 2008-2009 fiscal year and the town is still up s**t creek when it comes to knowledge.
I'm not saying this budget is earth shaking, and I have no idea what a lot of it means, but the simple fact that such an important piece of information is not readily on hand for EVERYONE to get easily shows the nature of small town governments. I have decided to kick my push for a more open government to the next level.
More to come...and some will not be happy.
If you drop by the website and the link is fixed leave a note in comments. My wife says they will fix it the second they have the post brought to their attention. I'm voting on them removing the words.