Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another point about the letter Tim Manges wrote

He wrote the following in his News Sentinel "Letter to the Editor:"

"Mr. Sylvester also failed to note that he never sent the city a list of 58 questions that he continues to say he did."

I am NOT an attorney and I do not claim to be one. I find it interesting that Mr. Manges uses the word "City." I guess I have some questions about why he would claim I did not send my questions to the city:

When I sent my list of questions to Councilman Talarico, Pape, and Didier did that count as sending the questions to the "city?"

When I sent my list of questions to Mark Becker, Greg Leatherman, and Pat Roller did that count as sending the questions to the "city?"

When I sent my list of questions to Tim Manges TWICE did that count as sending my questions to the "city?"

I also find it interesting that the City Attorney used both his name and title in his letter to the editor; why would an attorney do that?

I just do not understand this.

My phone has been ringing off the hook... Many of my friends are nearly as upset about Mr. Manges's letter as I am.

That is not how government is supposed to work.

Mike Sylvester


Kevin said...

Sending emails or letters to City Council members is NOT the same as sending them to the City.

Generally speaking- the "city" is the administration.

I think I said this before but it may be worth repeating- Open Records requests are NOT the same as asking questions.

For example- you can ask for any and all documents between Hardball Capital and the City.

You cannot ask "how many square feet of space will be in each condo being built". That info may or not be in the documents that you CAN request.

The city does not have an obligation to research answers for you. They do have an obligation to turn over existing documents that they have.

I also think that you must submit any request in WRITING or by FAX- I do not know that any public body is required to respond to email requests.

Mike- did you ever file a complaint with the Public Access Counselor?

Andrew Kaduk said...

Pat White certainly sounded worked up about the Manges/Sylvester situation yesterday...but it was really hard to tell which side he was worked up for/against. At first, I though he was siding with Mike. However, the more I thought about it, the less and less I believed that Pat was doing anything more than rubbing Mike's nose in the fact that Manges gave him a very public wedgie (regardless the fact it was just wrong).

I'm not gonna tell you what to do, Mike...but if it were my situation to handle, I'd challenge Tim to an arm wrestling contest: Settle this thing like men.

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I did file a complaint. After that complaint the Public Access Counselor agreed that if I take the City to court over my first information request that the burden of proof is on the City to prove that the information they will not give me is protected as proprietary information.

Mike Sylvester

Kevin said...


Did the PAC say that the city erred?

In my past dealings I generally got responses that read something like:
"...I find that the County violated the access to public records act..."

Could you post the letter from the PAC online? or email it to me?

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I do not have a working scanner; however, I just sent you an email asking for your mailing address. As soon as I get your address I will send you a copy in the mail.

Mike Sylvester

Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...

I find it interesting that you were asked IN public, IN the council room, IN FRONT of the attorney as to whether you got your questions answered.

I was there.

You had a resounding "NO".

Anonymous said...

Mike, it sounds like you didn't mail the request in.

Jeff Pruitt said...


It's on the PAC website - I read it yesterday; I'm too lazy to find the link again.

And I was told by the previous PAC that e-mail does count...

Anonymous said...

Gee, a freakin' email to the Allen County Prosecutor from someone who lives 120 miles away from Allen County seems to be sufficient to get a ball rolling.

The open records statute says things are to be construed in favor of the citizen, not the governmental body.

Kevin, you are just a tool without credibility.

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