Alton Elected Town Officials: To Disclose Or Not To Disclose, That IS THE Question?
..by Anura Guruge
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This was in ‘The Baysider’ April 4, 2013 Editorial.
So that was just 10 days ago.
I think it was last year (maybe the year before) when there was this big commotion at an Alton Central School (ACS), School Board meeting when the father of one of the elected members, during the public input session, questioned another elected member of the board about the ‘mortgage status‘ on his house. That as it proved to be was a red herring. I am glad about that.
Since then we have also read about some strange financial shenanigans by the board, especially this leasing deal.
So here is my dilema.
IF elected officials in Alton have got themselves into precarious financial straits, that are not that common, should THEY publicly divulge them — since much of the information is actually in the public domain?
Of late people keep on sending me stuff — in the hope that I will write about it in this blog. I have, so far, not even scratched the surface of the material that has been sent to me! Of the 20 or 30 documents I have, I have only written about 2.
Nothing that I have is confidential data. It is all public domain data. Just public domain data that most people have not bothered to unearth. Yes, some have been obtained, locally or in Concord, using ‘Right To Know‘.
This last week I got a bunch of documents, links and URLs referring to Chapter 7 bankruptcies, foreclosures and auctions. Yes, I have looked at all of them.
I REALLY do not want to publish this stuff, since that is not really the goal of this blog. Since I covered ‘Vatileaks‘ extensively on my pope blogs I am very familiar with the hassles associated with this stuff — though there are NO LEAKS as such here, since I will ONLY (as a reputable author) ONLY accept PUBLIC DOMAIN, non-confidential documents and information. Much of the ‘financial stuff’ is straight from newspapers and Websites. Just a matter of finding them.
Ideally this should be the purview of ‘The Baysider‘ and ‘The Laconia Daily Sun‘. That is why their reporters get the big bucks and all the glory. I don’t even get peanuts — and please don’t send me peanuts. I don’t like peanuts. You can send me as much cashew nuts, almonds & walnuts as you want. Those I eat, by the ton. Part of my diet. [And I have lost 15 pounds in 2 months so far this year.]
I talked with Josh Spaulding, the Editor of ‘The Baysider’ last night. I even shared the documents with him. Josh feels that this is PERSONAL stuff and that it should not be disclosed. I see his point.
But, when we are talking about budgets, money and fiscal stuff, Tax Payer Money, is it relevant?
I know that in the corporate world there would be an outcry if this stuff is not disclosed, if the relevant person is indeed making major financial decision.
I don’t know. Let me know what you think.
To ME, the most sanitary and satisfactory solution would be that the elected officials, voluntarily, make a public disclosure along with all the mitigation that they want to add. That way everything is out in the open, above board and there is no discontentment among the taxpayers.
Enough said for now.