FREE WHITEWATER

Open Government

Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison

These last several years in Wisconsin have seen a politics of corporate manipulation of public spending and a retreat from principles of open government. Businesses and business lobbying groups routinely expect public money for business projects that should be wholly private. (Scheming development gurus often refer to taxpayer money as their ‘tools,’ as though the…

Brad Schimel Brings Trumpism to the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Daniel Bice reports that Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is now demanding non-disclosure agreements from employees of the Wisconsin Department of Justice: On Aug. 10, staffers at his agency were sent an email instructing them to sign a nondisclosure agreement barring them from revealing any confidential information about their work — not just during their time in office but even after…

Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Grocery)

Yesterday’s post addressed open government aspects of an unrecorded council meeting.  See Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Open Government).   This post will consider a slide presentation from the unrecorded Whitewater Community Development Authority presentation of 6.19.18 on grocery store recruitment.  Embedded immediately below is that slide presentation, and a link to the 5.19.16 Perkins supermarket…

Public Records Request of 6.26.18 (Open Government)

The Whitewater Common Council agenda packet of 6.19.18 promised a “report and update on grocery store recruitment,” but that session was only partially recorded, with no video or audio record of the grocery presentation.  In response, I submitted a public records request of 6.26.18, about three topics: 1. Any audio or video recording of the…

A Bit More on Examples

I’ve written about Milton as a bad example for Whitewater, and I’ve written about Jefferson this way, too. See Sunshine Week 2018 (The Bad Example Nearby), Attack of the Dirty Dogs, and Thanks, City of Jefferson!. The Milton-related post prompted two readers to ask about my connections to that troubled school district’s politics. I’ve replied to…

Sunshine Week 2018 (A Methodical Approach)

Writing about a topic is a deliberate, often slow, process. Something happens – perhaps of concern – but one may not address it immediately. A bit of waiting can be a sound response. Along the way, an original perspective may change, and a project grow larger (or smaller). See Steps for Blogging on a Policy or Proposal.…

Sunshine Week 2018 (City, District, and State)

Local readers may have heard, as I have heard, that area officials know that there are ways around municipal ordinances and school district policies on open government. There’s no surprise in hearing this: there is no human construct that cannot be circumvented; there are few professing a public interest who do not simultaneously feel the…

Sunshine Week 2018 (Some Years Ago, in Whitewater)

In 2010, the City of Whitewater considered an ordinance to publish video recordings of principal public meetings. The first reading of the proposal was in August, and a second reading led to its approval in September. One may find the ordinance at Whitewater, Wisconsin, Municipal Code, Chapter 2.62 (Whitewater Transparency Enhancement Ordinance). This ordinance did not…