Drew,

Please email me the entire updated list of properties that were acquired with Local Option Sales Tax (LOST). I anticipate this list within a week. I am asking you for this information as a member of the LOST Oversight Committee as well as the Freedom of Information Act.

Thank you again,
Lisa Kuzela

Lisa,

The City has a policy in regards to information requests that require staff time to generate new documents. Per the policy, the first half hour is free with the subsequent hours billed at $20 per hour. For charges over $25, the City needs the fee up-front prior to beginning the work of creating the record.

ProSource estimates this request will take approximately six hours to complete. As there is no charge for the first 30 minutes, the request will cost $110 to complete.

If the LOST Oversight Committee requests this information at a future meeting, staff will work to provide that information for the Committee’s review at the subsequent meeting. However, such a request must come from the Committee during an open meeting.

If you would like to continue with this request, please provide the necessary payment to initiate the process of fulfilling this request.

Drew E. Westberg
City of Cedar Rapids
Special Assistant to the City Manager
3851 River Ridge Dr. NE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402
Phone: (319) 286-5349
E-mail: d.westberg@cedar-rapids.org

Drew,

This is total b.s., and you know it! All you have to do is bring up the database and click on those properties that were purchased with LOST, cut and paste into a new spreadsheet. If it’s “privacy” you are concerned about, I don’t need the homeowners’ names. This is all public information.

I am fed up with this city claiming you have “transparency” and then when someone asks for something – that is at your fingertips – you don’t come right out and say you won’t provide it, because that is against the law, but you use a devious political stategy: you discourage providing the information by throwing out the “$20/hour” cost.

If the city or its third party administrators can’t pull this info up from a database in 5 minutes, than both the city and the third party administrator need to be fired and hire someone who does have these organizational skills for such crucial information. This it the day of computers and software that does this in a simple and quick manner. And “six hours” is not only insane, but unacceptable! I’m sure you guys were cracking up sending me this email.

There is no rule in our bylaws or by the city that requires a citizen committee to wait until a meeting of that committee to request any information. We meet every two months now, and I will not wait until a meeting to request it. Besides, I have requested information within meetings, only to be ignored and/or not provided the information until the NEXT meeting and/or provided the WRONG information when it is provided. This is all a stall tactic in order to NOT provide information requested.

I expect this information ASAP, and if I don’t receive it by next week before the holidays, I will go to my next step to get it – and without the ridiculous charge.

Quit making up excuses to not provide information! We are all fed up with it. It looks like I will have to run for city council next term, just so I CAN get information from this city. Won’t that be great being able to use the bully pulpit and media to expose the truth of this city?

Lisa

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About Ajai Dittmar

There is nothing 'radical' about wanting to save your historical neighborhood! There is nothing 'negative' for wanting an 'outside investigation' done a public service that has had a lot of embarrassing news, especially when they don't do their jobs! There is nothing 'odd' about wanting politicians to uphold the Constitution they swear to uphold when they are sworn into office! Follow @sibzianna View all posts by Ajai Dittmar

3 responses to “

  • Craig

    “”If the city or its third party administrators can’t pull this info up from a database in 5 minutes, than both the city and the third party administrator need to be fired and hire someone who does have these organizational skills for such crucial information. This it the day of computers and software that does this in a simple and quick manner. And “six hours” is not only insane, but unacceptable!”””

    Lisa, I could not agree more. FOIA…..what a fricking joke. I also wonder as you say “This is the day of computers” why isn’t this “public info” on line? That way FOIA….would actually mean something.

  • Tim Wits

    Lisa, There is one document that you should ask from the City Finance Officer and that is “The City Council Resolution that authorized the Multi-Million Dollar purchase of the True North Building”.

    Iowa Law requires that only expenditures “authorized by budget or resolution” can be expended by a City Official. With that said, and since “NO RESOLUTION” authorizing the purchase of the True North Building was “EVER” issued by the City Council it would appear the Cedar Rapids City Clerk and City Financial Officer have violated Iowa law.

    Now, are these misdemeanors or felony violations ? What I mean is we are taking about over $6 Million given away to a City Vendor without proper city council resolution.

    Ask for the Document from the city see what you get. – “It does not Exist” !

    Research the law as I know you are capable and you will see
    “Crimes have been committed”.

    Or just keep dancing with the evil people who control our city.

  • Tom Harbit

    What a joke, but she has that right about the time. IF it really takes them 6 hours to get this limited information, something is wrong. More efficient people should be hired in these positions.

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