FREE WHITEWATER

Open Government

A New Embrace That Should Have Been an Old Embrace

One reads that, in rejection of a prior administration’s approach, [Wisconsin Attorney General] Kaul Embraces Opens Records Policy: Wisconsin’s open records law applies to all records requests, big or small. But under former Attorney General Brad Schimel, the Wisconsin Department of Justice implemented a restrictive policy that limited access based on the number of potentially…

Closed Government is Expensive Government

Small communities – by definition places with small populations – have fewer people from whom residents can choose officials, elected or appointed. The rational response for these communities would be to be as open as possible, to make best use of their full populations, and to encourage newcomers. Pride, however, stands in the way of…

The Best Record is a Recording

A video recording of the 5.28.19 Whitewater Unified School Board meeting is now online. It is, truly, a genuine good without merely particular ends.  (Every regular and special board session should be online, by the board’s own policies. See Public Records Request, 5.20.19.) A recording of the full session confirms yet again that the best…

The Disorder Nearby

All the communities in our area are struggling economically, but yet Whitewater has fared better than neighboring places. The commitment of a community to transparency inoculates against an inferior, disordered politics of the sort one sees in the nearby cities of Jefferson and Milton. Look at Jefferson (where city officials dissemble about relationships with fraudulent vendors)…

Whitewater’s Channel 990

Update 1, Tuesday morning: Channel 990 is televising properly again. Here’s my original email, and a reply from Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper.  (See also a message below from Kristin Mickelson, Whitewater’s PR & Communications Manager.) Original email: Good morning, City Manager Clapper. I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying a snow day in Whitewater.…

After the Referendum

In response to an email last night and two more today, here are some quick thoughts on the school district and Whitewater. The gist of these messages is similar: was support for the referendum a good idea, in light of district report cards, and the airing of a Shirley Temple movie (The Little Princess, Twentieth…

The Walker Cabinet Officers’ Open Letter

Four cabinet secretaries of the Walker Administration have come forward to criticize the governor, and three of them have co-written an open letter against Walker’s relentless emphasis on political gain over sound policies. One of the signatories of the letter is Paul Jadin, who was Walker’s first Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation leader. It says all…

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…