Word Games

Am I surprised that I recently received a certified response from the Jenkinsville Water Company to my FOIA request? Yes I am! Am I surprised that most of my request was completely denied with semantics and misleading information? Absolutely not!

I asked simply and directly for the same information that board member Preston Peach was, as he advised everyone and admitted at the annual meeting, freely given. He received a complete mailing list of all JWC members.

The following quote is the reason why I don’t have what I requested: “Please note that some of the requests in your letter, such as a request for the identity of meeting attendees, are not requests for records but instead requests for general information and thus do not require a response under FOIA.”

Again, to be sure that I’m speaking English, all I want is the mailing list of JWC membership – the same exact thing they gave Mr. Peach. I never asked for nor requested “the identity of meeting attendees;” however, now that they brought the subject up, I can’t see why they wouldn’t want to divulge that information about the identity of members who voted at that meeting. I never thought there was voter fraud, but there must be a reason for wanting to cover up this request with a bogus explanation.

I also received a memo from them stating they are currently in a civil lawsuit (again) and it’s the position of the JWC that it is not subject to the FOIA. Well, try as you might to fool your members or this community, sadly that scheme is not going to fly.

I’m certain some people on the JWC board read this newspaper and will no doubt be upset with the newest complaint, which goes to the heart of the matter: transparency, honesty and integrity in business and in life are all required for success.

Give the people what they are legally entitled to and enforce the bylaws of the company. If you refuse to do this you will open the water company up to yet another lawsuit.

Jeff Schaffer

Lake Monticello