Wednesday, May 21, 2014

City's Public Information Department No Longer Answers Questions from This Public

Public Information Officer Anthony Wilson informed me his office will no longer answer my questions on issues.  I requested a copy of the 2006 Reclaimed Water Study by Alan Plummer.

I passed this along to City Clerk Alicia Ramirez, who processes public information requests. She asked that you please fill out a public information request for this and all future requests. You can find the form here.

Anthony Wilson 
Public Information Officer 
City of San Angelo, Texas
From my seat the public information office morphed into a public messaging center.  Anyway, here's my lament:

I truly appreciate the years of service Ty Meighan and you provided me by getting my questions answered without having to complete PIR forms.  I sensed the change with my last few requests, increased paperwork and the City twice asking the Attorney General's Office to keep public information private.  I prevailed on the first and we await the AG's decision on the second.

Now it's official.  It doesn't feel like the city wants to answer questions from the public anymore. 

I guess you recognize good service when it goes away.  I didn't envision this happening after newly sworn in Mayor Morrison's opening talk with the public.  I thought the city would be much more open and transparent, not less.

Also, I have the memory of Interim City Manager Michael Dane wanting me to feel free to approach you to have my questions answered so I could get things right.   But then again, things change.  Be sure to congratulate Michael on his Transparency award.  And you should continue to bask in your awards, as well. 

In our Topsy-turvy world "service" means bureaucratic impediments and "openness" means closedness.

Anthony's e-mail differs from the city's website, which states.

Additionally, Public Information answers inquiries from the public daily.  Call the Public Information Office at 325-481-2727 if you have questions about San Angelo's municipal government.

What's been others' experience?  I'd like to know.  As for the 2006 Reclaimed Water Study the City can just post the document on their website for all to see.  I'd be satisfied with a link.

Update 6-26-19:  San Angelo's aggressive media defender Anthony Wilson will become Town Manager for Belgrade, Maine.  Do they have a Benedetti machine?

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