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Monday, October 09, 2006

Ind. Gov't. - Kokomo is "Anything but Open"

An opinion piece in the Kokomo Tribune today objects to Mayor Matt McKillip's re-election campaign including a promise to make "government more open, efficient and proactive." Some quotes:

We’re surprised – stunned, actually – that McKillip continues to tout “making government more open” as one of his top priorities. His administration is anything but that.

• On Aug. 9, we asked city Controller Phil Williams for a listing for all attorneys fees and deductibles paid by the city, year-to-date. We’re still waiting for that information.

• On Aug. 16, we asked Williams for a copy of purchase order No. 003403, check No. 123674 and voucher No. PI1694 from the claims approved by the Kokomo Board of Public Works & Safety of July 11. Still waiting.

• Also on Aug. 16, we asked Williams for an itemized list of all city money spent on KGOV-TV, including money spent hiring a Carmel-based video production company called “The Omni Centre,” as well as all program schedules and a listing of the programs currently playing on KGOV. Still waiting.

• Again, on Aug. 16, we asked Williams for an itemized list of the city’s landscaping/beautification spending for 2006 to date, including costs for concrete curbing, city labor, plants and any other costs related to the beautification efforts. Again, still waiting.

• On Aug. 18, we asked Williams for all documentation related to check No. 124861, paid to the vendor “Cardmember Service” from the claims approved by the Board of Works Aug. 15. Still waiting.

McKillip’s and Williams’ information blackout apparently has been adopted by others in City Hall. Last week, we tried to ask parks superintendent Dan Smith where an additional $2 million in parks department money had come from. He wouldn’t return phone calls and walked away from one of our reporters.

We later asked to listen to the audio tape of the September Park Board meeting, but were told that tape had been erased.

City residents deserve to know what city government is doing with their property tax dollars. They must be allowed to question government actions. If they don’t know where their money is going or can’t ask a city official even the simplest of questions, then their government lacks the very principles McKillip claims guide his administration.

They are accountability, professionalism and responsiveness.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 9, 2006 12:41 PM
Posted to Indiana Government