Why Doesn't the Apel Administration Want Town Council Members Talking to Department Heads?

Why can't Vernon Council members get answers to constituents' questions directly from those who have the answers?

Why can't Vernon Council members get answers to constituents' questions directly from those who have the answers?

Why are Vernon's department heads in trouble if they answer Council members' questions?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Chris Dehnel November 28, 2012 at 01:29 AM
I have to say I have always been treated fairly by the department heads. Two of them called me back in minutes for the Center Road School water leak story.
Vernon Taxpayer November 28, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Michael, What a mean spirited comment. I believe there is a real concern here. To put our Town at risk of more FOI complaints and the expense of having our Town Attorneys spending our tax dollars to sort it out seems foolish. The Town of Vernon is a Municipality not a private business. I believe most requests can be easily responded to with an e-mail or forwarding of the information. If it becomes burdensome to the Department Head and they explain that they don’t have the time, most people will understand. What worries me are some of the comments that have been made. Such as that the correct information is given out? Would the department head not know their job or the information in their department? Please, let us learn by our past mistakes.
The Truth November 28, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Are you suggesting we stop questioning authority?
Bert November 28, 2012 at 03:43 PM
By "correct information", I mean "accurate information." And, no town employee or Department Head should ever be put in the postition of telling a council person that they "don't have time" to respond. That's why requests go through the mayor's office. It's his responsibility to manage and moniter the departments and their work loads and assure that accurate information is provided in a timely fashion. He probably logs in requests for information and follows up on them. If the real reason for Mr. Winkler's post is to insinuate that these policies are in place to evade transparency and provide cover-ups, its his own personal trust issue, not fact. He may disagree but it is grossly unfair to publicly plant unfounded seeds of suspicion. As the town's foremost expert on requesting infomation under the Freedom of Information statutes, he knows that he receives everything he is legally entitled to receive and if he doesn't, he puts in a complaint with the state and that makes headlines. The fact that he does not like the procedure is his own problem. But again, we are now in an election year. I assume many "seeds" will be planted.
meowkats4 November 28, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Hey, Bert no one likes to be "MICRO MANAGED" (your words), since you brought that up! Others at the Town are being MICRO- managed and they don't like it EITHER! Come on Bert did the Mayor or John Ward, check what you are commenting on in this post first before you can hit the submit button? Don't worry I'm sure if any cover-ups are to be exposed, someone will get to the Patch Editor not to print that!!


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