PowerPoint presentation by Joel Campbell
Freedom of Information Committee
Society of Professional Journalists
Associate Professor – BYU Dept. of Communications
What do you know about Utah GRAMA open records law & the national Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.)?
BYU Prof. Campbell wrote a column for the Salt Lake Tribune regarding Cedar Hills Citizen’s for Responsible Government’s 2012 GRAMA request for emails called, “Cedar Hills case shows scars of fight for open government”. See complete article via… http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/sl-tribune-daily-herald-come-to-our-defense/
Why the need for “open records”? Joel Campbell shared a PowerPoint presentation he prepared for his Journalism class answering some of those questions of how and why Freedom of Information law has been created. Download the PowerPoint presentation here and click “Read Only”… Joel Campbell BYU Prof – utfoiupdate.1
An example of the content includes quotes & quiz questions like this:
“When information which properly belongs to the public is systematically withheld by those in power, the people soon become ignorant of their own affairs, distrustful of those who manage them, and — eventually — incapable of determining their own destinies.” Quote is by Lincoln? / Clinton? / Nixon? / Kennedy?
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know. – John Adams
Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe. – Abraham Lincoln
We must never forget that the free flow of information is essential to a democratic society. – Bill Clinton
What are the General Goals of having Open Records?
- Increase transparency and openness
- Increase accountability and decrease corruption
- Improve the quality of government decision-making
- Improve public understanding of decision-making
- Increase public participation
- Increase public trust
- Increase security
Right to know
The positive obligation of public bodies to provide, to publish and to disseminate information about their main activities, budgets and policies so that the public can know what they are doing, can participate in public matters and can control how public authorities are behaving.
NOTE: See the complete PowerPoint above.
that some critically important information has been intentionally withheld by the City, from its citizens, buried within multiple, confusing sources. The proof? Despite numerous requests over the past two years, the Mayor & Council refuse to publish a report to “shareholder” citizens (their bosses) of a simple table showing the year-by-year golf course losses and taxpayer subsidies. Why? It appears they are afraid that if you knew of the $550,000+ per year with 20 more years of the same “investment” likely until golf bond is paid off – you’ll stop trusting them.
Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government seeks only to promote “open, honest, and transparent” city management in Cedar Hills – and has and continues to seek the public record via occasional GRAMA requests, so that important public information can be posted at www.CedarHillsCitizens.org at for FREE, in your behalf and in the public interest.
Those who would like a FREE copy of the PDF of the 6000 pages of the 2012 email records may send an email with that request to info@CedarHillsCitizens.org .
When the 2014 GRAMA request is finally fulfilled by the City, those too will be made available for FREE for the asking as a public service to serve the public interest!
Mayor Gary Gygi still claims “nothing of any significance was discovered in the 2012 email records”. The facts do not support him. So much was discovered in the 2012 records, including the most significant fact that the Mayor, Council and City Officials had done a significant portion of city business on personal accounts without providing all copies back to the City Recorder as required by law – until our GRAMA request and then ORDERED by the Utah State Records Committee. The city admitted that some of those records on personal accounts were allowed to be destroyed.
Why was the 20-year veteran City Recorder Kim Holindrake forced out at the time of CHCRG’s 2012 GRAMA requested of Mayor & Council member email records? Some believe that the Mayor and Council decided to find her “insubordinate” and force her resignation in order to silence her, because she insisted on obeying her oath to uphold the law rather than do what some officials were asking her to do. She should be touted as a hero of honesty. See her press release article at… http://www.cedarhillscitizens.org/daily-herald-ch-mayor-should-resign/
What is the City trying to hide from you and Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government in our 2014 GRAMA request for their email records? We would like to find out.
CONTACT THE CITY COUNCIL: Ask the Mayor and Council to come clean. Ask them to provide the email records to for FREE in the public interest. Ask them to publish the year-by-year Golf Financial Facts. Encourage them to please choose to be completely “open, honest and transparent” with CH residents at all times.