29 November 2006

the jacques roy town talk transparency test

wst pal and local blogger cenlamar takes the alexandria daily town talk to task in his post: the town talk: the trees versus the forest cenlamar makes some good points in his commentary and while we dont necessarily disagree with his premise we merely offer our solution:

according to the jacques roy for mayor campaign website, mr. roy ran on a platform of amongst other things: absolute transparency, accountability and crime. in our opinion what mr. roy should do with regard to the town talk's public records request is to make a good faith effort and allow a town talk editor and reporter to view the report in question at city hall in the presence of mr. roy and the city attorney etc. prior to the meeting there should be an agreement between the town talk and the city in which the town talk promises not to print anything from the report that would be potentially to any defendant's advantage. the town talk should also not be given any copies of the report. if the town talk violates this agreement then mr. roy has the perfect excuse for the remainder of his term not to release anything to the town talk again. if it turned out that the town talk reneged on its word the people would support mr. roy.

the coughlin saunders performing arts center leaks that is already established. what remains to be seen is who's fault is it? it must be either/and/or a combination of architectural and/or construction incompetence. who knows it might have been designed and built this way so that some contractor could come back in a few years and make another fortune "fixing" it. its time for the city of alexandria to come clean and allow third party review of the report. for now, that third party is the town talk.

witsell evans & rasco

City Council OKs actions over leaking arts center, honors Mayor Randolph
By Billy Gunn
(318) 487-6378
Built for $8.2 million with private and public money, and opened more than two years ago, the arts center started leaking immediately during heavy rain and prompted two leak inspections paid for with city money. The city also pays for maintaining and lighting the arts center.

The latest inspection, performed by leak forensics company Quick & Associates, is not being released to the public or the media despite a request for the report filed months ago by The Town Talk.

Roy, who joined committee members in executive session, said he is siding with City Attorney Kelvin Sanders in the decision to keep the report secret.

"The citizens' right to full knowledge of the public record must be balanced against acting in the citizens' best interest when planning for litigation occurs," Roy said.

Roy said those "with interests adverse" to the city protecting taxpayer money must be prevented from seeing the report now.

Sanders said the "mental impressions" of the leak inspector exempts the report from the state's public records laws.

Ratcliff Construction Co. was the general contractor on the Third Street facility, which was designed by the Little Rock, Ark., architectural firm of Witsell Evans & Rasco.

Originally published November 22, 2006
wst note: according to the witsell evans & rasco website the coughlin saunders performing arts center was in association with a alexandria's ashe broussard weinzettle architects, l.l.p