Citizen activist and founder of Liberty Watch Nancy Rumfelt is so determined to get public information from the Thompson School District (TSD) just ahead of a vote on 3A, a $153 million mill levy override, that she is hosting a bake sale to raise money in order to pay the fee that TSD demands to fulfill her open records request. What did she request that is so expensive? Additional information on several different expenditures from the Loveland, Colorado, school district:
A check issued to Taste Catering for $600 which the memo stated was for a retreat on August 5th held by Dr. Cabrerra: asked the district to provide the pupose and location of the retreat, total cost for the retreat and who attended the retreat. Estimated charges: 2hours x $25 per hour
Two checks issued total $1,344.60 for a retreat 6/20-6/24: asked the district to provide the purpose and location of the retreat, total cost for the retreat and who attend the retreat.
10 checkes issued totaling $4,923.90 for a retreat 7/27-7/29 in either Vail or Beaver Creek: asked the district to provide the purpose and location of the retreat, total cost for the retreat and who attended the retreat. the estimate to provide this BASIC information that any credible accounts payable and/or HR department should track, is 3 staff members for 2hours each at a total estimated cost of $150.
TSD is using the old but often successful trick of charging a high dollar amount in hopes that Nancy will say forget it. If TSD were smart, it would give the information to Nancy and let the chips fall where they may. Instead it wants to charge her $200, which it can do legally. But just because Colorado’s Open Records Act (CORA) allows the district to do it, doesn’t mean it should. Frankly, TSD looks petty.
If the district wants more than $153 million in additional revenue from taxpayers, it would be prudent to provide information on how it is spending taxpayer dollars. The reluctance to do so is arrogant and leads voters to believe that government has something to hide. TSD should learn from Greeley Evans District 6 MLO mistake in 2009. After the Greeley Tribune downplayed transparency during the campaign while openly advocating for the massive tax increase, the paper finally acknowledged that lack of transparency was one reason for the MLO defeat.
Nancy and the rest of Loveland voters have a right to this information BEFORE the November 1, vote, so Nancy is hosting a Bake Sale for Transparency on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 401 S. Lincoln Avenue in Loveland. I plan on being there to help set up and provide home baked treats such as procurement poundcake and clarity cookies. I’ve already received $5 to give to Nancy to support her cause of local transparency.
If you are in the area, please stop by and show your support for citizen activist Nancy Rumfelt who won’t be bullied by those who want to stop her from asking questions about how your tax dollars are being spent.