Julie Kotsis, Windsor Star reports the results of requests for information to municipalities.
Emails were sent to every municipal chief administrative officer in Windsor and Essex County, requesting basic information that should be readily available to the public.
Taxes, development fees, number of staff employees, operating budgets and Integrity Commissioners were subjects of inquiries. Kotsis reports that response times varied widely, from one day to several.
What about Amherstburg?
More to follow.
It has now been one year since I emailed all members of council to request that council consider creating a protocol to answer inquiries from taxpayers and media.
I explained that, on occasion, information was not relevant, was difficult to locate, or it was unclear who would answer a request for information.
Mayor DiCarlo forwarded my email with an FYI to CAO Miceli, who replied; Miceli advised the Town is in the process of creating a Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Policy and that I might wish to review the policy when it appears on the agenda for Council’s consideration and approval in the near future.
My response to Miceli was, in part, “I will not refrain from exercising my constitutional right to democratic participation, including my right to freedom of expression. I will continue to contact my elected officials for information for as long as it is their role to represent the public and their duty to be transparent and accountable to their constituents.”
To date, such a policy has not been created.
The Information and Privacy Commissioner revised its Routine Disclosure and Active Dissemination Policy publication in SEPTEMBER 1998.
Council needs to step up and direct administration to establish such a policy – not all requests for information need to be in an official FOI request.