For this week's edition of "Buzz Off - the fact that it's the government does not mean they have to talk" brings us three strong contenders. So lets look at our winners
In clear first place is the BVSD and their handling of the Monarch High School cell phone issue. It has now been 15 days since this story broke and still no comment from BVSD. The community has made it clear that they find what happened wrong - and not a peep. After all, it's not like they answer to us.
And former head
Board Member Cheerleader Linda Shoemaker asked us to wait to hear the school's side of the story. Linda, how many years do you think we'll have to wait? Do you really think they'll voluntarily make anything public.
So the gold goes to BVSD for saying nothing. Who cares if our opinion of all school administrators is reduced because of the brain dead actions of a couple of people. The important thing is BVSD has made it clear that this is none of our business and they aren't going to tell us anything.
In second place comes the Boulder City Clerk Alisa Lewis. Nine days ago I emailed her some questions on the financial filings of the City Council candidates. This included my discovery that several of the candidates filing forms added up numbers wrong. I asked if they verified the candidates math as the totals of these filings are used to issue matching funds (what we call our money as it's from tax receipts). No clear answer yet on most of the questions.
But that's not the best part. Apparently the way they post the filings is they receive Excel files from the candidates
and post those files on the web - sorry, no that would make too much sense. They print the excel files to paper, then scan the printed paper and post those scans (and I assume then throw out the print outs). Because if in Excel they printed directly to PDF output the results would be too clear and make it too easy for voters who want to read the filings - and would reduce the profits of the paper companies.
So the silver goes to Alisa Lewis for avoiding clearly answering questions and coming up with the most labor intensive and user unfriendly way of providing candidate filings. But we should give her a break as I think she is still catching up from a year ago - she CC'ed Tom Eldridge in her email reply to me. (I miss Tom.)
In third place we have the Boulder County Clerk's office. This one is a thing of beauty. I am in awe of how this was handled. Without further ado, here we have the full email trail:
From: David Thielen
I've got 2 questions for you:
- What page will you list the number of ballots received each day on? I want to track this on my blog.
- If a ballot arrives with a $0.01 stamp on it, do you pay the difference or return it?
Thanks - dave
24 hours later I sent (my one previous email to the clerk was never answered so I wanted to check):
From: David Thielen
Did you get this email?
Thanks - dave
The next day I received a reply:
From: Gloria Callaway
To: David Thielen
Yes, I received your email.
I am in awe of how this answered my second email without letting me know if I will ever receive a reply to the initial questions. While only getting the bronze, this one to me is perfect in how it answers yet leaves me wondering if I will every actually get an answer.
So that's this week's edition of "Buzz Off - It's none of your business" where government agencies make it clear that while it may be our money, that does not give us the right to actually get answers from our
public servants galactic overlords. Next week we'll look at the George Bush administration to see if they can top our local winners.
ps - Don't tell Gloria (I'm curious to see if I ever get an answer) but the answers to the two items above are: