Thursday, November 1, 2007

"And Answerable To The People"

City of Fort Wayne Declines to Turn Over Testing Results From Old OmniSource Property
Link (INC)

"The City of Fort Wayne will not disclose results of testing done on a key piece of property north of downtown that's being contemplated for a major development project.

Indiana's NewsCenter placed a formal request for findings related to testing on the old OmniSource property at 1610 North Calhoun Street, but the request was denied.
But because that land for years hosted scrap metal recycling, questions arise about whether there are environmental contamination issues that need to be exposed.

Indiana's NewsCenter requested records of soil testing that's been conducted, but the City Legal Department turned down that request.

The City cited state code suggesting that economic development commissions are exempt from disclosure requirements, during negotiations with a commercial prospect.
Taylor could not say if the testing results would have to be submitted to city council, in the event a sale was finalized."
The quoted post title is the last line of a statement that is permanently etched onto the exterior of the Allen County Courthouse that, oddly enough (or maybe not), directly faces the City County building.

There should be no doubt that the City should submit the results of the site testing for the Omnisource property to not only the City Council, but to any citizen who requests it, as soon as the City is able to do so without compromising its discussions or negotiations.

Citizens are co-investors, co-owners, and co-stakeholders of the government that serves them. Investors and stakeholders of any other multi-million dollar organization expect and demand to know the direction in which leadership is taking their investment.

The City is no different. The City should share information with its investors as a matter of course and daily business and not as a defense mechanism. The City should be more forthright than even a publicly traded company because its actions affect not only the operation of the organization but the very livelihood of the investors themselves.

There was much information shared about Harrison Square, but much was left to be desired in terms of responsiveness of the information released and also the breadth, depth, and scope of the information.

I hope to see local government in the future become a shared, collaborative effort between leadership and investors, in a situation in which one party can expect to be at least somewhat as well informed as the other.


John B. Kalb said...

Scott S.: As I told you and your brother - We need to keep young people like you in our fair city! I appreciate your comments and your insight. (I learned about the statement etched in stone on our county courthouse from you - thanks!)
PS - How about those Red Hose? Talk about "blowing" the Rockies away! John B. Kalb

scott spaulding said...

While I would have liked the Rockies to win, I'm going to be in Boston this weekend so I'm hoping there's still some excitement lingering from the Sox win.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Very well said...