Rehoboth voter demands transparency

July 24, 2020

Back on Oct. 7, 2019, Rehoboth city solicitor Glenn Mandalas noted at the mayor and commissioners meeting that the city was seeing a “sharp increase” in Freedom of Information Act requests.  He went on to say that with three months still to go in 2019, there had already been 204 FOIA requests submitted to the city - as compared to 179 for all of 2018 and 144 for all of 2017. 

At that rate, projecting out to a full year for 2019, that would mean a dramatic 52 percent increase in 2019 over 2018 and a stunning 89 percent increase over 2017. (For the record, there has been no update on the total FOIA requests for 2019 or to date for 2020 from Mr. Mandalas or the city.)

What does this mean? It means that Rehoboth citizens have had more and more concerns about what their government is doing out of the public’s sight.  Citizens are having to file (and pay for!) FOIA requests to find out what their government is doing.  And it means that the current administration has not been the transparent, open government Mayor Kuhns promised when he ran for mayor in 2017.

Bottom line, Rehoboth citizens need a city government that is open, straightforward and responsive to them. Too much has happened - and is continuing to happen - behind closed doors. 

Mayor Kuhns has not fulfilled on his (and in his words) “pledge to be much more open and transparent,” which he made in his pre-election July 21, 2017, letter to the Cape Gazette.  The dramatic increase in FOIA requests shows that. Stan Mills, Patrick Gossett and Jay Lagree have not only the knowledge and experience we need for the next three years of challenging times, but also the track record and commitment to running the fair, equitable, and transparent administration Rehoboth citizens need and deserve.

Marie Hatkevich
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