“I filed 2 “Open Records Requests” with the office of Mayor Tom Barrett of the City of Milwaukee in January of this year. I had to send 3 follow-up letters (2 threatened legal action) until I finally received the requested information about a week ago.
The information that I was looking for was all complaints about any employee of the Dept. of Neighborhood Services (Building Inspectors) for the years 2006 and 2007.
I took me almost 6 months to get the records and after reading through them, I can understand why they did not want to release these records.
I actually thought that I might find 10-12 written complaints. What I found were 108 pages of gut-wrenching complaints about inspectors who abuse their authority and power to intimidate citizens into compliance with “the code” or to hit them up for fines that go into city coffers to enhance the budget and keep “the dept.” going.
Do you think this type of intimidation is occurring in your city? I am willing to take bet that it is. It is a simple process to check into it, simply file an Open Records Request, just be prepared for the foot dragging and excuses for why they cannot release the records.
Just for the record, I am a white male who is about 6′ 5″ tall but that is not why I am able to get the records when I make requests, I like to think that I know and understand the law and use it to my advantage.”
Conclusion: Take Orv with you when you file an OR request 🙂