City Council should have brought in a cake.

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How else are people to get information?  Ya gotta request it.....good on ya / XLFD for having the tenacity to ask for transparency.  When a person gets paid by tax dollars, they must answer to those who pay their salary...that is just how it works.  

Ironically, I actually still haven't crested 300 actual requests, but I'll take the credit for 326 if they want to give it to me.  My FOIA history began in 2009, so in a period of over eight years, I've averaged under 40 per year, around 3 per month, which is one every ten days.  I run an investigative news site and I don't believe our officials unless I can verify their claims.  These people have been caught violating the public trust and lying on several occasions.  I'm actually feeling bad now that I haven't bigger numbers; I guess I am an underachiever (*sigh*).  Thanks for the cake, John, and your words of affirmation, IHAN; I shall endeavor to get those numbers up.

I sent number 327 yesterday asking for the correspondence and other records involving the city and Spence Riggs in 2016.  This should be good. 

CONGRATS BROTHER! You are such a great advocate! I think maybe you should teach a FOIA course for most of us that are not sure on what to do! Bet it is a packed class! Ludington residents don't know how bad it would be w/o you! X keep up the Awesome work! We all need to unite.

Only a corrupt city would keep count and make intimidating statements in public against a citizens voice. Keep up the good work! If you hit 500 I will find a dancing girl to jump out of the cake!

And see if the girl can wear a gold bikini too :)

We're not saying the age of the girl or any other details....

I needed a good giggle....sorry....sort of.

Thank you!

Why is it so hard for the city to be transparent...?

Why not just give you access, don't they understand they'll just have to in the end?  

Or is there more there then even you (or they) know....??

Thank you for understanding the importance of the public having public records at their convenience.  The City of Ludington and many other cities have the capacity to make their community website a fount of information on what they are doing.  But they don't utilize the resource, instead we find out about things that will greatly affect our lives the weekend before the meeting it is often decided on.  Quite often they have been working on this either at the committee level (of which few citizens attend or even know about) or in their secret little meetings in their closed to the public sections of city hall (as recently with the Kiosk Guy deciding the fate of beach parking). 

FOIA request number 328 was sent out last night for the city credit card records over the last two years.  This should be a wealth of data showing the city using public funds for things they shouldn't.  You may recall the $70+ Pizza Hut purchase they claimed was for a workshop in the Shoplift with a Cop article; I can almost guarantee before getting the records that I'll find two dozen or more equally suspect purchases considering what I've seen in their 'paying of the bills' section over that time.  Provided they actually give me these records.  Number 326, whose response I am appealing at the next meeting, was a doozy, I can't wait to explain that one to you before that meeting, but I have a synopsis of this last meeting to do before then. 

What reasons can they really give to deny?   ..Confidential?  Like they're having arms deals with Libya...? 

Basically, over the last 7 years of this or so, all I've witnessed is the Egotistical person of CM Shay to be the final say-so of whom gets info. and whom doesn't. He's been caught in so many illegalities by X, that it isn't funny, he should have been fired long time ago. His only tool to get even is to keep every single request for info. by X denied except via a FOIA request, then has a collusive attorney handling the scant info. available, and the rest is denied. Nothing is going to change until such time Shay resigns, dies, or gets fired, simple as that, and very annoying and sad for him and his cohorts.

They may go back to making charges that go beyond the pale.  The response to #326 had a bill well over $2000 for one recent police report.  Guess who doesn't want it made public.

Insane!  I have found the same thing.  Different city, yet they are claiming they have nothing or say it will cost this huge amount to keep someone from purchasing it.  How on earth could a report cost $2000 unless it was all of the Watergate files hand copied.  We need new laws that have everything FOIA-able put on line for citizens to access easily.  Guess those interested in keeping the torch light going could open a GoFundMe page to cover the $2000.

Another thing I found interesting about the FOIA information.  I recently ordered a court transcript and it cost me  $98.00 for transcription fees (36 pages) PLUS $22.82 "shipping and handling."  When I inquired as to the exorbitant fee (priority envelope said $6.65) I was told I had to pay for the shipping of the document to the court.  So now the court has the file and anyone else wanting it will have to pay for it.  I checked today and it would be $36.00 to order it from the court.  I have already paid so why would anyone else have to pay to get a digital copy?   What a rip off of the system.  We need someone to host a site where we can upload everything we get so anyone else can see it for free and stop the system from profiting.

FOIAs 'R' Us...?  ...Good name for one...?

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