Ford Co. (ECWd) -
We recently exposed the failures of the Ford County Regional Planning Commission in this article. That public body has three primary tasks by statute.
“Said Commission shall be a fact-finding body and shall make such investigations and gather such statistics as it shall deem necessary for the planning and development of said region, and shall make a plan of said region to include all matter which it may deem necessary for the development of the region as provided above.”
- Shall make such investigations
- Shall gather such statistics
- Shall make a plan of said region
We filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the County for a copy of the Plan made by the Planning Commission. Any guess what the response was?
- County Board Chairman - "I do not have any of these documents"
- County Clerk & Recorder - "We are limited to Ford County, therefore, I cannot process your request."
- Zoning Board Chairman - "My office possess no records responsive to your request."
Considering the Regional Planning Commission is a unit of County Government, the Clerk of the records should have a copy of the Plan if one was ever created. The Clerk's position that she cannot process my FOIA request is simply not true as the Regional Planning Commission is under the control of the County.
The fact that no one in the County has been able to produce the one document the Planning Commission was required to create is troubling. Especially since the taxpayers are paying the commissioner's mileage expense to attend meetings...........where they are supposed to be doing three things.
What is even more telling is the lack of oversite by the County Board. One would think that when they appoint a commission with a specific task they would make sure that task gets done. Instead, they have neglected their own obligations pertaining to ordinances and passed it off to a Commission to approve a suggested ordinance for Wind Farms, a power the Planning Commission does not have by statute.
This is just another example of how out of touch many local government bodies are as it relates to their mandated duties under the law. They just do what they have always done and the taxpayers are the ones paying for there refusal to comply with the law.