What is the commission hiding?

To the Editor,

The following is a quote from the W.Va. Freedom of Information Act (WV FOIA). “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.”

Below are recent WV FOIA requests the Hancock County Commission has refused to honor or has only partially complied.

1. Records which reference the hiring of shelter employees including the appointment of the “acting” Director of the Animal Shelter.

2. Records indicating expenses paid from the Animal Shelter Excess Levy Account since July 1.

3. Records regarding communications between the “acting” Shelter Director and the Commission Office.

4. Records indicating the total number of animals received through outcomes for July, August and September.

5. Records identifying other shelters, rescues, or other facilities where animals are being transferred and copies of agreements with those facilities.

In a letter dated September 2 referencing a WV FOIA request, the Commissioners state “The request is now at an end. As this request was denied in part, you may institute proceedings for injunctive or declaratory relief in the Circuit Court of Hancock County.” In summary, they would rather be sued than to release public documents. What information related to the above is so secret the public should not be allowed to see it.

The obvious question is: Why is the Commission refusing to be transparent with the public?

As the WV FOI Act states, the residents of Hancock County should not allow the Commission to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know

What are they hiding about the Animal Shelter takeover and their operation of the facility?

Rudy Rosnick

Weirton

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