FOIA

Freedom of Information Act is a law that gives rights to everyone to have access to public records. You may have noticed that Councilwoman Horvath asked the assistant to the Mayor if she ever answered a FOIA herself or does she send everyone of them to the lawyer. Councilwoman Horvath was worried about the cost of the FOIA request. Councilwoman Horvath asked me about the FOIA that we filed with the city the last one cost the city 1,300.00 that was on the invoice from corporation counsel. Why because we send in the request to the FOIA Coordinator who is the assistant to the Mayor and she sends it to corporation counsel who then answers it at a price of $135.00 and hour. Not to mention that we have to submit some request more than once because they did not like the way it was worded so more charges. This last FOIA we sent in was handled by the FOIA Coordinator who charged us her time at $28.80 an hour we paid the price. We pay what ever they bill us for I think it was the first time that she handled one from us. If there is nothing to hide there is no reason to have to send these things out to a lawyer. Councilwoman Horvath who held the same position when she was the assistant to Mayor Canfield never sent a FOIA to a lawyer to answer, she answer all of them herself.

If the assistant to the Mayor bills her time out at $28.80 an hour why has she not sent a bill in for her time on the NSP Grant. What ever time she has spent on NSP has to be billed to the grant she would bill it just like McKenna bills their time for administering the grant. Her time spent on the NSP Grant should not be coming out of the Mayors Department Budget that money comes form the general fund. In the end it will not matter because the city is already over the 10% allowed to spend on administering the grant in the first place. That is not the point an accurate record should be kept of the expenses of this grant. That is what I think anyway how are we to know how much over the city is if the NSP Grant Manager is not charging their time to the grant.

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7 thoughts on “FOIA”

  1. SAID IT BEFORE. I GAVE UP ON THIS CITY 3 YEARS AGO.ON THE CITY COUNCIL AND MAYOR,CITY WORKERS OVER PAID. NEIGHBORS DONT CARE ABOUT THERE HOMES I DONT CARE ANYMORE…. CHANGE THE SIGNS TO WELCOME TO (DETROIT HEIGHTS).WE ARE HEADING THAT WAY.THIS CITY AND STATE S U C KS.

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  2. Anonymous

    I could not agree more there are somethings that we should not need to file FOIA for we should be able to pick up the phone call a department ask for something and pay for the copies. Not sure why every thing has to be done with FOIA I had to fill out a FOIA to get a copy of a council meeting I should have been able to call the media department and asked for a copy and paid the money to get it… Even that simple thing went to corporation counsel what worries me is that they will put together some outrageous prices and the council will pass it because they want to make money. The administration will do it not for the money, but to discourage anyone from trying to get information from our city the council should be very careful with what ever the administration brings to them they do not want to hurt us in the process.

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  3. Rose

    Sorry the $135.00 was charged to the city not to us for the FOIA. What concerned us is why a lawyer needs to look at a FOIA to begin with. If Councilwoman Horvath could do this same job without costing the taxpayers anything that should be the case now..

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  4. Nancy

    Thank you for the info that is what we have been saying about the NSP Grant all along McKenna is not suppose to administer but they do it all. What I understood to be the case was 5% of the gubernatorial election, 2010.

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  5. a house of cards, kathy.
    I’m scared and curious on how everything is going to play out, when this all comes down.
    foia is our right to see what’s going on. we should not be charged for getting that info.
    if there was transparency with our city government, we wouldn’t need to use the foia so much.
    I’m sick and tired of this administration.
    charging us now for assessment requests. they don’t want us to see their dirty work, so they are just going to hit us in the pocket to get this info, thinking we won’t pay it.
    WE are paying these people to run our city, and they are running it into the ground.
    everyone in the se Michigan area is hurting, but what is been going in this city is criminal.
    a lot of Allen parks residents want to get rid of their mayor, and council. i feel the same about ours too.
    As you have said several times, transparency, accountability, honesty. that’s all we are asking for as citizens! Thank you!

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  6. As a former CFO I can tell you that it is not unusual to not charge for complete time on a project. Projects are usually under funded. Someone then makes the decision to do them anyway. My question would be why is Mckenna an administrator? The grant should be handled by the various departments in the city. A good bookeeper can handle the reporting. State and Federal grant reporting requirements are fairly easy if you have kept the proper documentation. Documentation has been the problem here along with the fact it has been handed over to an outside administator. Many bad decisions made. Cost overruns will be the result.

    On another subject did I hear right that only five people need to request and get a city manager? I hope so because the DROP program is a rip off of the taxpayers.

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  7. You should never pay that kind of money. You didn’t ask for a legal opinion they did. If it is a legal document they should charge you for the copies and what is a reasonable time to obtain them. You just requested a public document.

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