From one very tenacious Watchdog in Coos Bay:
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2014 7:53 AM
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; jeanivey
Subject: Constituents request for information
To: Coos Bay Oregon Mayor Crystal Shoji
With copies to local Coos Bay print media:
The World newspaper / Executive Editor Larry Campbell
The Sentinel newspaper / Publisher Jean Ivey
Dear Mayor Shoji:
This citizen is shocked and saddened by the sudden departure of Dr. Muenchrath.
At election time facts and rumors fly fast in small town America. Please help me replace rumor with fact.
I believe that the voters apathy and anger directed at their elected representatives who ignored their desire for greater citizens involvement in the SCCF matter caused, in part, the low county primary election voter participation and the election results.
I had hoped that someone other than me would address this subject. At the risk of being labeled by County Commissioner Sweet as another "Naysayer", or labeled by anointed SCCF President Whitty as another local "Yahoo", this constituent respectfully requests your response to the below inquiry.
I understand that the government (collectively the people) of Coos Bay employs the services of well regarded and qualified attorney Nathan McClintock as counselor to the city as his services may be required. It is my understanding that counselor McClintock is paid for services rendered by the people through their representative government and that counselor McClintock is not employed as a personal or private counsel to the mayor or to council members individually or collectively or to the city manager.
Regarding the SCCF matter - It is my understanding that counselor McClintock was asked by you, or by the city manager, or by one or more council members, to render an opinion on the SCCF Bylaws as originally written and as amended prior to your motion that was set before the council to join and adopt the SCCF Bylaws. It is further my understanding that an opinion was rendered by counsel and that the mayor and council relied on this opinion when making a unanimous vote to accept the Bylaws as they were amended 25 April.
Please provide this constituent citizen of Coos Bay with a copy of the peoples counselor McClintock's written opinion (perhaps a one or two page report) by e-mail attachment. If the rendered opinion was oral, please set forth a concise summary of the rendered opinion; i.e acceptable as written, not in the peoples best interest, try again, etc. If counsel was not asked to render his opinion in this matter of major importance to the citizens, why not?
Thank you for your time and for your timely concise response with copies to those CC addressees who are listed above for dissemination to other interested citizens as they may deem appropriate.
Response from the City Manager of Coos Bay:
Rodger Craddock <email@example.com> wrote:
This email serves to respond to your public records request involving communications between the City’s attorney and members of the City Council and/or staff. As advise provided by the City’s attorney constitutes a privileged communication between an attorney and his client, such communications are exempt from disclosure. Thus I must respectfully deny your request.
Rodger Craddock, City Manager
City of Coos Bay
500 Central Ave
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Retort from a true watchdog:
That is the answer that I expected. In this specific matter, I do not believe that the mayor and council can shelter under the protective umbrella of attorney client privilege. I will ask the attorney general for an opinion and hopefully to compel the city to respond.
Sincerely, Fred Kirby
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