I took great offense at your headline that the FOIA enforcement action is against county taxpayers. Nothing could be further from the truth — in fact, the case was brought on their behalf to protect citizens’ rights from the pattern of illegal activity of elected officials.
Furthermore, I am appalled that you would intentionally smear me and my attorney in this way, and two days before the county Farm Tour in which my farm was a host farm. If your paper wants to retain any shred of credibility, you should publish a retraction and apology, along with corrections to your headline and content that accurately reflects the status of BOS-directed settlement discussions so as not to mislead your readers. Some of your readers will not understand how your headline is absurd. Why didn’t you interview both my attorney and Mr. Goff about the BOS-directed settlement? The status in your paper last week based on your discussion with Mr. Parrish is just plain wrong. Frankly, your paper is nothing more than a tabloid, in my opinion.
The Freedom of Information Act specifically states that “the affairs of government are not intended to be conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy since at all times the public is to be the beneficiary of any action taken at any level of government.” That is the law, plain and simple. Information about government decisions and actions is fundamental to a democratic society. Because I caught the board conducting the affairs of this county in secret, and more than a dozen times, I respectfully requested compliance and when I was ignored, I sued to force compliance with the law. The taxpayer has benefited greatly from my suit as it has changed the behavior of the board with respect to stopping conducting business behind closed doors that must be conducted in public.
Two of my Farm Tour volunteers were initially hesitant about helping me during the Farm Tour no thanks to your smearing article. Thankfully, they were able to determine independently that your headline that I had sued the taxpayers was nonsensical. But I can only guess as to the negative impact on traffic to my farm during the tour as a result of your article. Shame on you.
And just so you know, I am a senior, supervisory project manager/contracts manager with a national security agency, with more than 36 years of federal government service who happens to have a herd of llamas.
Marian M. Bragg
Gid Brown Hollow