Transparency News 10/9/18



October 9, 2018


You can smile on VCOG when you shop on Amazon. Click here!


state & local news stories


FOIA and records management webinar. Nov. 13. Free. Open to anyone. Register today!

Yesterday, I added eight FOIA Council opinions to our website archive of court, AG and FOIA Council opinions on FOIA. It's the only place you'll find all three entities weighing in on what FOIA does and doesn't mean. Start browsing from our list of topics.
VCOG website

After leading the city's department of Economic Development for more than 11 years, the director resigned abruptly on Monday. City Manager Dave Hansen said in an email to council members that he accepted Warren Harris’ resignation at 11 a.m. No reason for his departure was given. "We wish him well on his future endeavors," Hansen wrote. Several council members provided the memo to The Virginian-Pilot. City Auditor Lyndon Remias said his office is in the midst of reviewing credit card purchases by Harris and Economic Development staff. The probe began a couple of months ago and will continue for four to six more weeks, Remias said. No results have been published.
The Virginian-Pilot

Loudoun County Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) issued a clarifying statement Monday afternoon regarding the possible remains found in Sterling on Saturday.  Volpe said on social media Sunday the possible remains was a “Halloween skull” with a “mustache” painted on it. She clarified Monday, saying, “After the discovery of possible skeletal remains in a wooded area near West Church Road and Aspen Avenue, there was initial speculation at the scene, which was reported to my office, the remains were possibly related to Halloween decorations. There were a number of rumors incorrectly reporting a possible body had been located in the area. Due to the suspicious circumstances of where the possible remains were located and the inability to positively identify their origin at the scene, the sheriff’s office is conducting an investigation with the medical examiner.”
Loudoun Times-Mirror


editorials & columns


There have been two groups in Lynchburg working to understand and address poverty and its causes: Poverty to Progress, initiated and funded by Lynchburg City Council, and Bridges of Central Virginia. As of late last month, the two groups have decided to merge their mission to form a new effort to be known as “Bridges to Progress.” So far, so good — we believe the stronger, the more inclusive the effort to address poverty in Lynchburg and Central Virginia, the better for its chances of meaningful success. That’s why it was disappointing to us when representatives from the city’s Poverty to Progress and its subcommittees and Bridges of Central Virginia held their first joint meeting after merging on Sept. 17, and group leadership decided they did not want a newspaper reporter present. According to a facilitator for the Poverty to Progress Legal Systems subcommittee, combining the efforts is “somewhat messy” and participants “feel more relaxed when it is a closed meeting.” In other words, they didn’t want the news media “stirring the pot” and reporting non-positive news. We would argue that transparency trumps these concerns. 
The News & Advance