About my public records requests (February 12, 2016)

I will say to anyone, as I said to Marc Puckett the night he first made his libelous and slanderous statement in a public town council meeting, How dare he suggest such a thing?

As for the idea that the records requests are related to Ranchos, this seems to reflect Marc Puckett’s guilty conscious speaking.

For example, I would ask how citizens looking for well over 200+ missing warrants from the Town Council warrant registers, which went undetected by staff (and council who approved them) for most of the year, relates to Ranchos? Or why a citizen cannot examine why the town treasury has been falling like a rock while spending goes unchecked year after year?

If Marc Puckett or the Town Council wanted to know why citizens asked for records, they need only look at why none of them made any attempt to ask why, or be forthcoming and transparent with information requested.

Marc Puckett has indicated time and again his displeasure with the privacy rights that private entities have by law, and seeks not to comply with the legal rights of citizens to examine their public agency. Had the last budget been conducted in a legal fashion through the public forum it would have gone a long way in resolving some of the issues. Instead, Town Council, by their own admission, did the budget business using serial meetings (which are prohibited by the Brown Act) with staff acting as their intermediaries.

I looked over the records request listing by Marc Puckett and did a cursory break down of my requests as follows:

Puckett listed twelve requests for me in six months, of which three were actually duplicates. Of those, only two could be related to Ranchos. The total cost listed on mine was $16,590 and the two for Ranchos totalled $1,200. The first request I ever made, and the subject of litigation, was charged at $720, for which I received only 40 pages. That means it cost $18.00 per page. Really?

What I find interesting, if you look at page 18 of the PowerPoint presentation of the first transparency report by Marc Puckett. You have to wonder first why they bothered to take a photo, but having done so, he has provided proof that couldn’t even count the boxes correctly.

empty boxes

And despite the evidence of this pile of boxes, I actually received not one single document. Documents requested were not in those boxes, some file folders were actually empty. All the boxes were placed upon the public counter up high and the normal chair was removed. Further, Al Rice accompanied me, and Marc Puckett refused to allow Al’s assistance. I injured my shoulder trying to pull down and go through the heavy boxes. They did nothing more than take file folders out of drawers and put them into boxes in no order. I was not allowed to actually remove any document from a folder to examine, and told I was not allowed to remove or replace any folder from the boxes, it had to be done by staff, while two staff people stood over and watched me, and all with a time limit.

So, maybe you can tell me why the discrepancy, where is this claim of $153,000+ on Marc Puckett’s list? Why the attempts to attack me publicly? It begs the question, what is Marc Puckett trying to hide, and deflect examination from?

Here are some of the details about my public records requests:

8/4/15 — Request for monthly status report related to budget and status of expenditures for July 2015. For the past six fiscal years the Council budget resolution mandates there be presented monthly budget status reports.

8/7/15 — The Town claims this is a voluminous amount of records and they will make a determination 8/31/15.

8/31/15 — Town determined they did not possess any records responsive to the request.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, maybe it was too soon. Made a second request.

9/14/15 — Request for monthly budget status reports for July and August, 2015. (1 of 3 requests that same day).

9/24/15 — Town determines requests are voluminous and will make a determination 10/8/15. Now, understand, the town told me if I put requests all in one request, none of the request will be responded to until the response to all requests was complete. So I broke each requests into separate requests so those which take less time, but nothing changed.

10/8/15 — Town provides Town Manager’s Updates which contains no budget status information and is unresponsive to my request.

Upon further examination I found that for the past four fiscal years, the monthly budget status reports are a goal of the Finance Department, which they have not accomplished.

The cost listed for first request is $620 and for the second, $490. Even so, I never received reports because they do not exist, even though they are mandated by Council adoption of the budget resolution, but continue to be something Finance has as a goal to do. Really?

Do you know what it takes to produce a monthly budget status report on an integrated financial system? A few keystrokes to format the type of report and the content, and press a button to print.

Since Marc Puckett has again raised the issue of citizen public records requests, it would be more enlightening, transparent, and a public service, for the Town to produce a complete list of records requests from 2011 through 2015, showing the other 1,551 record requests, the existence of which are obvious from the numbering system shown on Marc Puckett’s documents. Otherwise it leaves some 310+ yearly requests out of the equation and does not correctly reflect the totality of citizen requests. As it stands, isolating a mere 70 clearly shows that the Town is singling out individuals.

— Leane Lee, Apple Valley, CA