A real-time behind-the-scenes look at a major records request investigation that may or may not go anywhere
I'm not a fan of serial records requests if it's only fishing, but where there's smoke, there's fire. Follow your gut and keep the readers in the loop.
Good work. The fact that I'm here says I read the whole thing. Main takeaway so far is that Kronenwetter is not friendly to open records requests and didn't put in much effort to eliminate duplication and overlap.
Yes, I agree also. Total transparency is paramount in all levels of government. Federal, State and local levels seem to think and act as if their work is theirs and take many questions or critiques personally.
In all cases, at all levels, the Tax Payer is BOSS!
By design, thru ordinance’s and other means, most government structure comes down to “control” and “job security”
. . . my opinion,
How's this going along? I've had my suspicions of an incredibly toxic environment growing over the last few months which were inflamed with the former community development director's quotes about Joel Straub making so much of the staff resign during his county board interviews. It's pretty apparent there's a big conflict between Downey and the Board (0% raise, them saying not to talk during meetings etc). The three you listed (Jaeger, Straub, Charneski) were the ones I picked up the hostility on it the most too. There was even a vote to remove Jaeger this year but of course Straub and others wouldn't do that and voted it down.
At their last village board their planning commission chair even listed of all of the staff and said "do better" to the board during the public comment. Surely they're beginning to realize that you can't function as a village losing 2 clerks, 2 development directors, finance director, public work director, fire chief and several lower level staff. A cursory google search of Downey shows like a dozen applications to other municipalities in and out of state so he's certainly trying to get out before he's sacked. He's come in second place several times but hasn't quite gotten an offer.
I like my local politics boring, but this is like a car crash - I just can't look away. They're at like 4 staff members in office right now - when they should be close to 10.