Transparency is great, said the politicians trying to limit transparency

Recent decisions have shown citizens that transparency is a myth propagated by politicians in order to placate the masses.

The news that the Supreme Court of Virginia made the decision to not provide records relating to the Virginia death penalty is the latest death knell for a law that was intended to make government more accessible, more “open.”

You don’t need to look far to see violations of the idea and the law of the Freedom of Information Act. Every week, sometimes every day, a report or other information is denied for release, often with an explanation that defies the law itself.

If the law in the Commonwealth can’t be followed regarding this, isn’t that the same as the justification for wanting the freedom of the information in the first place? If our government does not follow the very law written for these purposes, shouldn’t we wonder what other laws they have decided not to follow?

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What would Jeb! do?

This is what they mean by “smaller government” and “lower taxes”, “heckuvajob”.

050828.katrinamccaincake

Katrina AP photo

Thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors wait to be evacuated from the Superdome in New Orleans September 2, 2005. After five days of surviving Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans residents were finally evacuated from the sports stadium by authorities. REUTERS/Jason Reed
Thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors wait to be evacuated from the Superdome in New Orleans September 2, 2005. After five days of surviving Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans residents were finally evacuated from the sports stadium by authorities. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Department of General Services ignores FOIA request

You can request records by all these methods below, but to request records, write to their FOIA person. Also, FOIA does not apply to “general questions” asked of the agency, but you need not mention FOIA for it to be a FOIA request.

Got all that?

Requesting records from the Department of General Services:

Records may be requested by U.S. Mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require requests be in writing. The requester does not have to specifically refer to FOIA in order to request documents.

From a practical perspective, the Department of General Services may ask the request be put in writing to ensure there is a clear statement of the type of records being requested and to reduce the potential for misunderstanding the request.

The request must identify the records the citizen is seeking with “reasonable specificity.” This is a common-sense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records. The request must be specific enough for the records to be identified and located.

Requests must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA allows existing records to be inspected or copied. If a record does not exist, under FOIA, the Department of General Services is not required to create a ‘new’ record. FOIA does not apply when asking general questions about the work of the Department of General Services.

The requester may choose to receive electronic records in any format used in regular course of business by the Department of General Services. For example, a request for records maintained in an Excel database, the requester may elect to receive those records electronically, such as via e-mail or diskette, or receive a printed copy.

General Services may need to clarify the information being requested. Please include appropriate contact information in case the request for information needs clarification is extensive in the amount of documents being requested, and/or to coordinate delivery of the documents.

To request records from the Department of General Services, direct requests to:

Mailing Address:
Attn: FOIA Request
Julie Whitlock, Policy and Legislative Analyst
Department of General Services
1100 Bank Street, Suite 420
Richmond, Virginia 23219

E-mail Address:
FOIA_DGS@dgs.virginia.gov
In the e-mail subject line please put at least the following: FOIA Request

Phone: 804-786-3311
Fax: 804-371-8305

(emphasis mine)

Does the Governor have time to address this, or the Attorney General?

Chesterfield Supervisor chair: If FOIA information is bad, it will affect commerce

In the Richmond Times Dispatch last week: (concerning how many Confederate license plates are in Chesterfield.)

Chesterfield is aggressively competing with other states, localities and countries to recruit jobs. Let’s assume that decision-makers were in town on this particular day and decided to pick up the local newspaper to catch up on local news. What would they think? Might they simply put down the newspaper and head for the airport? And that same scenario applies to families looking to move to the area.

Words matter. We love Chesterfield. We love you, too, sometimes.

Steve Elswick,
Chairman, Chesterfield Board of Supervisors.
Chesterfield.

Here’s what I have to say about this:

If you aren’t doing anything wrong, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Style Weekly continues to allow an error to stand in their Confederate culture list

Style Weekly Confederate culture list names school in Richmond (named for a leading educator of African-Americans) and lets it stand.

Endgame
If Richmond wanted to remove all references to Confederate figures from public property, what would have to go? The list may surprise you.
BY EDWIN SLIPEK

Jackson Davis
Jackson Davis, intermediary for African American education in the South

This from Wiki:

Dr. Davis died suddenly at his home in Cartersville, Virginia on April 15, 1947. In Henrico County, Virginia, Jackson Davis Elementary School, dedicated in 1962, was named for him.[2]

The Jackson Davis Collection of over 5,000 photographs and numerous manuscripts and documents was given to the Special Collections Department of the University of Virginia by his daughters and additional papers were late added by his granddaughters. The collection is located in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.[2]

The comments contain the truth, but they haven’t been noticed by the journalist(s) yet.

Jeanes Teachers website from Durham Library

Encyclopedia Virginia – Jackson Davis, 1882-1947