Democracy, New Buffalo Style

images (11)Mayor Lou O’Donnell and Council members Liz Ennis, Mark Kroll, Robert Spirito, and Mark Robertson allow a two tier system of government.  One tier is for city employees and the other is for the general public. City employees control the information and treat themselves differently than the general residents. If it wasn’t for the Freedom of Information Act, we would never know.

When City Manager Dave Richards completed a Freedom of Information Act request on September 20, 2017 for a surveillance video of the parking lot next to city hall because he thought some citizens might be making harassing statements about him, his employee, City Clerk Lori Vander Clay fulfilled it on October 4, 2017. This is when the police department had responsibility for health and safety at city hall.

Richards FOIA Request

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City Manager Dave Richards vs Citizen Susan Gotfried

When I made a Freedom of Information Act request four months later for a surveillance video for the same location as Richards’ request that would visually document Street Supervisor Tony Ashbaugh’s harassment of me, I was told by City Clerk Vander Clay that the video did not exist. This is after the city council gave City Manager Dave Richards sole responsibility for health and safety at city hall.

The City Council allows the city employees to engage in disregarding or violating laws to protect themselves and disenfranchise the public – the people who pay the bills.

My FOIA Request

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