Dodge County Board Action Mandates All Supervisors Get The Same Documents

(Juneau) Some supervisors on the Dodge County Board say that some department heads play favorites when it comes providing public information that elected officials need to need to cast their vote. At this week’s monthly meeting, supervisors adopted an internal change to the county board’s rules of order that requires that information requested from a county department be provided in a timely manner and at no cost.

Supervisor David Guckenberger says in his experience, some department heads have refused to provide information that is given freely to other supervisors. Guckenberger cited as a common example documents handed out at a committee meeting, that a supervisor may not be assigned to, and being told that they could get a memo or summary of the documents at the next full board meeting, when the vote would likely be held.

“Why do I have to pull teeth to get it, I need to be informed when I make decisions,” Guckenberger says, “Do we need this rule? Probably not in the real world but in the environment that I’m working in, I need this rule to get what I want, when I want it.”

Supervisor David Frohling says the matter should be reviewed during the county board’s re-organizational meeting every two years.

“I don’t believe that this resolution solves Mr. Guckenberger’s problem,” Frohling says, “so I think we need to review our rules at our regular time, tweak this and come up with a comprehensive rule to solve these problems.”

Supervisor Andrew Johnson also voted against the rule change noting that there is already an open records law in the state.

“Re-trying to make the open records law at the county-level is unnecessary,” Johnson says.

Guckenberger maintains that he should be able to get the same information that other supervisors may already have.

“I think it’s a reasonable request ‘Give me a copy of what you gave to the other five people, I’d like to see it’,” he says, “that’s not an open records request, that’s a reasonable request and I would have gotten it at the next board meeting two weeks later.

Under the resolution approved, the chairperson of the committee overseeing the department, or a designee, is tasked with providing the documents.