What the village government is doing is unclear

It is three weeks after Sunshine Week, an annual event to promote open government. No one in the Village of Lake Orion government participated.
In the Village of Lake Orion, Freedom of information Act (FOIA) requests are denied because what should be readily available government information does not exist.
The village manager said it was “unclear what is being requested” in my appeal of FOIA responses. The council agreed. They could have asked, as it seemed simple to me.
The FOIA requests were to point out the arbitrary nature of village actions and how the village was ignoring law, charter and established official policy. The appeal was to force the issue on to the agenda so it would be part of the public record.
But they chose to not understand any of that.
According to the village manager, and contrary to council meeting information and actions, they have, “not denied him any documents that he requested that we had on file” after not providing the attorney invoices when monthly costs were approved by the council. If there are no invoices, why have legal expenses increased from an original budget of $40,000 to $52,000 with four months left in the budget year and no more money?
No explanation given and the council didn’t bother to ask.
The DDA apparently does not have to respond to FOIA requests and is not part of the village government even though created by the village council with a budget approved by the council. The council doesn’t care how almost $1 million taxpayer dollars are spent by the DDA every year. The DDA wants to add a $5 million bond to that uncontrolled spending.
As for Councilmember Michael Lamb’s presentation on uncontrolled spending, future expenses and the diversion of taxpayer funds to an unelected and untouchable DDA, nobody wants to talk about that either.
Cory Johnston
Village of Lake Orion

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