Sunday, December 10, 2006
Hobbyist, Democracy and Integrity Frustrate Local Tool Sharpener
Encinitas gets record number of records requests
Encinitas city councilman, former mayor and lawnmower blade sharpener, Dan Dalager, is once again confused by the concept of democracy and public access to information.
In today's North County Times story about public records request; the lean, mean quote machine that is Dan Dalager gives us this gem,
curiosity comes at a cost to the public, said Councilman Dan Dalager. Dalager has publicly criticized residents who have filed public records requests.
"The question is, should the public subsidize certain people's hobbies?" Dalager said.
While the cost of responding to public records requests is not known, the city must find a way of reducing it, he said.
"We are going to have to figure out a way to scan every public document there is and put it online," Dalager said. "That way you can have people fishing for things to their heart's content. If people want to spend their whole lives digging through them, that's fine, but we have to find some way of stopping this expense."
Dalager said he thinks city resources could be better spent elsewhere.
Dalager has obviously finally lost his mind. The next line of the article should clear things up for him,
Regardless of cost, the general right of records access ---- the freedom of information Americans often take for granted ---- makes government more accountable and more efficient, said Peter Scheer of the California First Amendment Coalition.
Dalager, a longtime member of the so called Usual Scoundrels, is often frustrated by city watchdog Donna Westbrook who made 47 information requests during the last year. At city council meetings when Westbrook takes the podium for her 3 minutes of commentary Dalager often lets out audible sighs and groans and can be seen rolling his eyes.
Normal citizens of Encinitas have come to rely on Donna Westbrook to do the dirty work and uncover the Usual Scoundrels schemes. In fact, Donna Westbrook is taken for granted in Encinitas.
In many cases, city records show Westbrook requested and reviewed information ---- such as recordings of Planning Commission and City Council hearings ---- without asking for copies.
In recent interviews, Westbrook said she listens to Planning Commission recordings because minutes from those meetings provide only minimal information.
"If you have a question about how (an issue) was explained," she said, "you have to listen to the audio." The audio files are not available online.
Dalager, empowered by his big victory in the last election, is hitting new levels of hubris. Recently Dalager called city founder and Korean war veteran Bob Bonde a "whiner" for questioning the city's use of tax funds.
See Leucadia!: "It's the same, usual suspects who have nothing to do but whine,"
The irony of Dalager using the phrase 'should the public subsidize certain people's hobbies?' will no doubt be lost on him, Westbrook's "hobby" uncovered the true nature of the Usual Scoundrels attempt to hoodwink the public in subsidizing city capital projects under the guise of the clean water program.
Dalager and the rest of the Usual Scoundrels haven't exactly been frugal before (expect perhaps to starve Leucadia out of a decent infrastructure) so why complain about Americans using their God given constitutional rights to information?
Should Westbrook's labors even be described as a hobby? "Donna does her research for the Encinitas Taxpayers Association," said Bob Bonde, a founder of the association, which led the campaign against Proposition C, the clean-water measure. "She does her research, and it pays off."
Can honesty, intellectual curiosity, and hard work be categorized as "hobbies"? And, if these positive traits are hobbies, then it is alarming that city councilman Dan Dalager views these traits as a negative thing.
Dan Dalager needs a hobby.
*note-putting all information online is a good idea. As long as ALL the information does get put online. Can the city be trusted to do this?