Mayor Dave Bieter’s “Team Dave” has decided to provide their own version of Hotline Calls made to the Mayor’s office after providing a word-for-word transcription to the media for years.
We find it ironic the city spends $60,000 in public funds to “educate” voters about a political question on the November ballot, but eliminated a weekly transcription of citizen views called into the Mayor as a cost saving move. They claimed the city needed to provide “unvarnished” data on the issue of a constitutional amendment aimed at denying voter approval of debt at airports statewide.
The unvarnished Hotline versions provided information, entertainment, and topics of public discussion for GUARDIAN readers. Credibility certainly comes into question. We don’t know if a caller said, “I heard…” or REALLY said, “I heard a rumor.” For instance the call featured this week in the summary posted earlier quotes Don Nelson as “wondering” how the city can legally take something without returning a service. Did he say that–which may well be true–or did he conclude, “this is simply wrong and illegal!?”
Some of our past favorites:
We sent a letter to the Mayor’s Office seeking the actual audio of calls in lieu of the transcript after a City Councilor assured us he was informed it would be made available. Well it is–sort of. You decide.
Here is the unvarnished text of the letter without GUARDIAN summaries:
Dear Mr. Frazier:
I received your request for audio recordings of the hotline calls as well as the written summary of those calls received by the Mayor’s Office. As you know, this office has been providing courtesy copies of the transcribed calls to you for some time without requiring you to formally request them each week, as contemplated by Idaho’s Public Records law.
A full transcription of each call is no longer being created; the written summary is the only document available.
Your request for “audio recording in a digital on-line format” of these calls cannot be accommodated. The voice mail system the City uses is not integrated with our computer network. The messages can be heard only by listening on a City Hall telephone. As you are undoubtedly aware, Idaho’s Public Records law provides that you “have a right to examine and take a copy of any public record …” (Idaho Code 9-338). You are free to listen to and record, using your own recording device, any calls not otherwise exempt from disclosure pursuant to one of the many exemptions in the public records law.
Please contact me if you would like to schedule a date and time to come to City Hall to listen to hotline calls.
Office of the Mayor, City of Boise
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.