Letters to the Editor

Reader decries disrespect

Dear Editor:
I am delighted to lend my voice to the celebration of 25 years of our city. I have resided here for 44 years. I strongly supported the creation of the city and will fight vigorously for it’s future.
I was encouraged by the language and purpose of our City Charter and the ordinances which support it. All of this represents a unity of the purpose for our community.
I am disappointed at some apparent disregard for the city’s legal foundation, disappointed in some apparent selective application of our laws, and disappointed in the lack of civility among some of those who disagree about these issues. And, most of all, I am appalled at the personal attacks. It is a First Amendment right to speak out in disagreement, but not appropriate to use it for personal attacks.
I do have hope. Whomever is, or becomes, council members are good people – intelligent people, who are making significant sacrifices by serving. My hope is that they will work together to help us achieve our dreams as a City.
Everything depends on one thing: that we VOTE to elect whomever we want to represent us!
Thank you.
Tom Stone
Clarkston

A call to release documents, open government

Dear Editor:
The City of Clarkston’s fervent and apparently expensive and time-consuming efforts to conceal information from the public certainly seems like something one would expect from low-level Chinese or Russian leadership—or the Trump administration—but not something consistent with a transparent democracy most Americans cherish.
Actually, the whole situation is so bizarre that it is difficult to discern with certainty exactly who is trying to hide what from whom, and why.
It is intriguing. City Council member David Marsh’s autocratic view that “the public does not have the right to know everything” is somewhat telling, and downright chilling.
The Clarkston News’ recent article on the Freedom of Information debacle indicates Marsh is seeking re-election, but the office in the Politburo he seems to seek is not described.
Bill Basinger, of the Zoning Board of Appeals, suggests that citizen Bisio’s quest for information underlying city deliberations and actions is somehow a personal vendetta against the city.
Some citizens may disagree, instead regarding Bisio as a patriot and champion of transparent government. Basinger seems to suggest there is something wrong with citizens looking over the shoulders of elected city officials.
How dare citizens expect elected officials to be accountable for explaining where they procured information and how they used it!
Perhaps even more strange and perplexing to the average citizen, the documents the city attorney has refused to release involve correspondence pertaining to matters pending before the city—documents and attendant services for which it appears the city was billed—and which presumably contain information relied upon by elected officials advised by the city attorney in making their official decisions.
If the city attorney’s advice to city officials was based on information contained in the documents for which he billed the city, it seems ridiculous that public entitlement to document access should be controlled by whether any city official actually touched or read the document containing the information considered and relied upon in their decision-making.
The whole scenario seems so convoluted and contrived as to warrant suspicion by plaintiff Bisio, as well as other concerned citizens everywhere.
Exactly what are the scary facts some city officials and perhaps others seem so worried that citizens may discover?
Can it be that those involved may be ethically challenged, or just not competent to do the job. Something seems wrong. This can’t be what good government looks like.
Mike Fetzer
Clarkston