A reliable journalist reports that Joel Chandler of Lakeland, Florida, does not “fit the gadfly profile”. And yet, Mr. Chandler has successfully pursued with the withholding and difficult Polk County School District an idealistic vision of citizen access to key government documents; as a result, he is the very deserving winner of this week’s Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week
On October 9, Polk County Circuit Judge Roger Alcott ordered the Polk County school district to release to Chandler the names, phone numbers, addresses and dependents’ names of any of the estimated 13,000 employees in the district who receive health care. Judge Alcott also ordered the school district to pay the $35,000 fees of Mr. Chandler’s attorney.
After he won the lawsuit, Mr. Chandler decided to ask every school district in Florida for similar records.
As a result, our STOTW has dozens of threatening e-mails suggesting that he “watch out” and “beware” because they’ve got their eye on him.
To this, Mr. Chandler says, “Some people like baseball and football. This has been a lot of fun. It’s like dealing with a bully.”
Welcome, Mr. Chander, to the storied ranks of the STOTWs, and keep the faith.