NEW FOIA violation!!

Sussex County Online User Forums: Fenwick Island Discussion Forum: NEW FOIA violation!!
By bill weistling, jr. on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 06:39 pm:

It appears that the Town Council of FI has received another FOIA violation. With the monthly Council meeting in 3 days, I hope this violation is posted on the Attorney General's website so all concerned citizens have the opportunity to examine it before the meeting. It has not been posted yet.
Perhaps Council will read the violation to the public, elicit comments, and explain their position, or place copies on the tables for public review. It was only a short time ago, during one of the special meetings, that Council openly discussed asking the Attorney General's office to come to FI and hold a meeting explaining FOIA to the public. Let's now do it as a special meeting with all Council members present. It appears that the public understands FOIA better than the Council. Don't initiate this comment and then wait till the end the monthly Council meeting to pass out FOIA info.
The violation is the result of Council's refusal to allow Major Manning's request to speak at the Nov. 15, 2002 Council meeting re:his comments on the hiring of Mr. Hudson as OIC of the FIPD. Manning should have been allowed to speak.
It appears that Council also did not prepare proper minutes reflecting the vote to hire Mr. Hudson.
So now, as remediation for the violations, a special meeting must be called to vote again on Mr. Hudson's hiring. This meeting MUST include public participation.
This situation in FI gets worse daily. Major Manning may have a violation of his 1st Amendment rights. Another possible lawsuit for the Town?
What about Roxann Moore of the 'Wave', whose questions also were not responded to at the monthly meeting?
I again urge all of the public to review the numerous articles on SCO about FI. Form your own opinions, but express your concerns at the next Council meeting this Fri. Jan.31. Also, remember the hearing on Feb. 12 at Roxanna fire hall re: Chief Dickerson. All of these recent issues are important to all of us.

By Eric Magill on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 07:23 pm:

You beat us to the punch, Bill. Kerin will have a story online tomorrow on this.

The attorney general's office found council in violation of the FOIA for not allowing Manning to speak at the Nov. 15 meeting while allowing other non-property owners to speak.

The AG's office has also ordered the town to hold a special meeting to re-do the hiring of Hudson as OIC, complete with a public comment session.

We're also working on a story regarding the withholding taxes. The town has paid the withholding taxes, according to Thomas Sombar.

Eric Magill
Publisher, Sussex County Online

By Username on Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 09:08 pm:

Bill & anyone else who is celebrating this--

I don't understand why this gives you so much pleasure it's YOUR town too... You are dragging it's name through the muck.

Your mission sounds like revenge and your goal to hurt someone('s). YOU are as responsible or guilty [as a citizen & voter of the town] as your Council for these problems.

Get over it.
Defend it.

By Our Founding Fathers on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 09:58 am:

Dear Username

Please ask yourself this question.
What does the "Truth" hurt?

Answer - Fenwick Island Town Council Members to include former member James Elliott.

Reason - For having in the past, present, and near future, I'm sure, conducting the public's business in the dark.

Here's another statement you won't understand either.

The Council should do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do.

Your statements - "Get over it", is your personal acceptance of present conditions.

"Defend it", How can anyone defend the FI Town Council, as they are cowardly, with no honor in them. Their actions speak louder than their words. Why, not just admit their wrong, reinstate the Chief of Police and work with him to correct this problem. I'm sure Major Manning would be willing to lend a hand. Form committee's of public members to work with the town council to resolve these issues. Don't let the council's bigger than life ego's, stand in the way. The public should request, no demand, this be done.

You, Sir or Mam, are unworthy of the sacrifice of brave men who died to protect your freedom. The foundation of this great country is "Governement of the People, by the People", not in darkness by a select few with ideas that do not voice the wishes of the people they serve.

By Kurt C. Hoffman on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 01:19 pm:

The suggestion that property owners should "get over it" and defend a group of public officials who repeatedly have lied to us on a variety of issues defies logic.
Write to the Attorney General's office, people, and tell them what you think about the lies, the deceit, the avoidance of mandatory audits, the failure to pay withholding taxes and efforts to keep that failure secret, the series of unlawful executive sessions, the actionable character assassinations of George Dickerson and Bill Manning, the browbeating of Vicki Carmean, the unilateral rule change to thwart a free and open discussion of current issues during the public participation segment of Council meetings, the lack of opportunity for public input on the budget, the micro-management and subsequent unraveling of the Police Department by an unqualified Council member, the dubious conduct and questionable advice of the town attorney....it's an impressive laundry list of misconduct.
Attorney General Jane Brady will only get involved in our dilemma if she hears from an overwhelming number of property owners. Contact her through her deputy, Michael Tupman, at the following address:

W. Michael Tupman, Esq.
Deputy Attorney General
Delaware Department of Justice
102 West Water Street
Dover, DE 19901
FAX: 302-739-7652

We have to get rid of most of these Council members before they drive the town into bankruptcy and cause us to lose our insurance. We already are vulnerable to civil penalites and a number of lawsuits because of their misbehavior. They have to go, people, and it's only going to happen if we make it happen.

One other thought: Your comments here on Sussex County Online will carry more weight if you sign your name.

By Bill Weistling, jr. on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 05:49 pm:

Some strong words from USERNAME. I have no personal vendetta against any Council member, nor any motive for revenge. I certainly take no pleasure from what is occurring in this Town.
There are some SERIOUS problems in the Town of F.I. Read the articles under Fenwick Island news index. I won't repeat all of them here. No other towns that I know of have anywhere near these amount of problems, and they are also run by Council.
Whether we like it or not, we are a Council form of government. It is up to the Council to run this Town. Council members are ultimately responsible for this situation, and must accept criticism and advice also. Their actions affect all of us.
Council and individual council members must certainly be held accountable for the lack of a yearly audit, budget process without public input, police problems, and FOIA violations. Many or most of these problems they have created.
If 7 other 'faces' were sitting there, my criticism would be the same. It's their responsibility to govern this Town in an open and public manner. It's our responsibility to "observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials in formulating and executing public policy" (FOIA declaration of policy). To me this means offering advice, criticism, or help. It's OUR town, not just Council's. We have the RIGHT to participate in this government.

By D Bowman on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 07:31 pm:

I agree with everything that Bill Weistling stated above in his message. I have lived here for 4 years full-time. I have owned my property since 1977. I have never been more ashamed to say I live in Fenwick Island than I do now. I have been quiet during all the problems that have occurred hoping that they would be fixed. They have only gotten worse. Something has got to change and that can only happen at the polls. I have said for years that the citizens have no say at the council meetings. The council makes up their mind before they vote on something so it makes no difference what the citizens of the town express. The town makes new ordinances that cannot be inforced. I could go on but I only hope that the concerned citizens group can help to find future council members who will be willing to give their time to help the town out of the current situation that now exists.

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