Saving money on sunshine

Scott Weiner's call to audit the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force could be problematic

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EDITORIAL We hate to pick on Scott Wiener, who is a polite guy who always takes our calls and takes public policy seriously. He's got an extensive legislative agenda — good for him — and he's effective at getting bills passed. We're with him on nightlife, and even on nudity towels in the Castro.

But he's been taking on some more disturbing causes of late — he's managed to tighten the rules for the use of Harvey Milk Plaza and now he's asking for an audit of the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force that looks at how much each city department spends responding to sunshine requests. We're not against audits or government efficiency, but this could lead to a lot of mischief.

There are plenty of problems with the task force, which hears complaints against city agencies that are denying the public access to documents. The biggest problem is that the task force has no enforcement authority — when the members find an agency or official to have willfully defied the law, the best they can do is turn those findings over to the Ethics Commission, which simply drops the case. Nobody ever gets charged with anything or gets in any trouble for refusing to follow what every public official in town piously insists is an excellent law.

And yeah, the meetings run long, and sometimes city employees have to sit around for hours waiting for their cases to come up. (Activists who testify before city commissions are used to that, but city employees are on the clock, and Wiener's worried that it's running up a large bill.)

But nobody's talking about the money that the city has saved by those annoying government watchdogs keeping an eye on public spending — through the use of the Sunshine Ordinance. Nor is anyone talking about the immense amount of time activists and journalists have to spend fighting over records that should have been public in the first place — or how much money the Task Force has saved the city by creating a forum for resolving these issues out of court.

We can see the outcome here: The audit will show some large number, some cash amount with a bunch of zeros behind it, and the Chronicle will run a big headline about the high cost of this sunshine bureaucracy — and someone will suggest we find ways to streamline the process by clipping the task force's wings.

That's the wrong approach — particularly when there's a much easier answer. Why not do what sunshine activists have suggested for years — make electronic copies of every document created by any city agency and post them in a database on the web? No more secrecy, no more hassle. It's easy — if anyone at City Hall is serious about saving money on sunshine requests.

Comments

Jason Grant Garza here ... Mr. Wiener can contact me for I have over ten (10) years of deliberate unaccountable failure on the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE'S part. He can investigate case # 06034, 11081, 10038, etc. He can see the worthless delays, the FALSE SUNSHINE, the DEATH of HOPE and HUMANITY, the game playing of FALSE COMPASSION, FALSE WORDS, FALSE PROCESS and lastly FALSE RESULT ... no outcome JUST DELAY against the COMPLAINTANT at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE. As a matter of fact if you type my name into a google search engine you;ll read an article here at the SF GUARDIAN where the city broke federal law, had my case thrown out of federal court, then signed a settlement agreement with the OFFICE of INSPECTOR GENERAL admitting fault and guilt YET LEFT their INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD. Please look forward to a book and the paperwork being published at myownprivateguantamo.com in the future. Anyway, Just like the COBRA (current case) that the city will lose MILLIONS over the city attorney's mishandling ... ask yourself what did Jason Grant Garza get with a signed confession. Now that he is currently at the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE in case # 11081 and can not even get PROPER SERVICE ... call and ask the new administrator since the old one is not there ... WHY ????
Years ago I offered the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE a solution to their ineptness, their constant harm and injury (by delay, false process, ethics' farce, etc.) It was the OREN JUDE amendment ... TO STEP DOWN UNTIL GRANTED POWER if not then they would only continue to HARM as in my case - see # 11081 for denial of medical services from DPH and my medical records ... HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET STATE and FEDERAL EXPERT WITNESSES to testify regarding HIPAA which where it (DPH) was found in violation by Licensing and Certification to me? Would you believe till I either DIE or GO AWAY in order to continue to spread the FALSEHOOD of CARING and COMPASSION ... call and ask. Ask what about the ETHICS referral in case # 10038 (ha, ha, ha ... what did they VICTIM get?) Yes the ILLUSION continues and they will tell you they CARE ... ha, ha, ha. Also Mr. Wiener can contact me over all the $$$ spent by DPH against me and they will continue to spend since I am NOT DEAD and NOT GOING AWAY seeking MEDICAL care that I was denied and given the track record of DPH ... it will continue ILLEGALLY. So do I care about continuing to do the "RIGHT THING" even if it costs the corrupt and immoral city and its workers ... please realize that I still have 3 unforfilled IDRS (not scheduled) to continue to show and DOCUMENT the FARCE ... such as the IDR to DPH as to who regulates and certifies them so that I can have them de-certified and not get re-certified as was the lab that all the hubbub is about regarding NOT getting all paperwork (padding the results) lately in the news regarding SF. Again type my name into a google search engine and read .... there you will see if has been more than (10) years of continuing .... sort of like the COBRA trial that is going on NOW. Will the city attorney or anyone lose their job, pension, etc .... yes. MORAL HAZARD at its finest ... nothing but the BEST FRAUD, ILLUSION and INHUMANITY they they will retire and live the good life on.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:12 am

Obviously, Garza is a little naive to how government bureaucracy works. If the commissioners step down, as Garza suggests, that would give prime reason for city government to terminate the entire task force completely citing that it would save the budget a lot of money and that state law still has the force to produce documents. Unfortunately, there would be no watchdog left. people would be forced to go to court which is very expensive.

So, Garza's suggestion is really a bad one. That kind of chess move or really immature politrix doesn't work, ie, I won't work unless you give me what I want. The Sunshine Ordinance Task Force should continue to perform its impeccable service to show its continued effectiveness and support for bother the public and city family (sometimes the public gets its wrong) so that decisionmakers like Weiner and other disgruntled public officials will realize that diminishing oversight of transparency in government is a hot potato with the voters and considered hands-off.

People up for re-election now and in the future should pay heed to this call and be careful of what they both support and put on the ballot with regards to diminishing any community oversight pig their work and decisions including the over 30 departments and agencies in the city. Ask those that try to get documents from DPW or Planning.

There was a necessity to create the Citizens Oversight Committee over the Police Commission and Department. The VOTERS saw the value of government transparency and created the Sunshine Ordinance and Task Force. It's very clear the purpose overarcs the minimal costs and savings to the taxpayers. After all, it was the taxpayers who voted to create the Sunshine Ordinance.

Don't think for a moment this electorate is stupid when it comes to government cover-ups no matter what rhetoric or spin is thrown on it.

Support an open and transparent government by calling your district Supervisor to let them know that the Sunshine Ordinance and Task Force is hands-off for your vote.

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

Jason Grant Garza here ... Naive to how government bureaucracy works ... don't you mean I am KNOWLEDGEABLE on HOW bureaucracy DOESN'T WORK ... what do I mean ... type my name into a google search engine and read how DPH broke federal law 2001 (my EMTALA case) where they had my case dismissed with TESTIYLING 2003 (C02-3485PJH) only to sign a confession 2007 (settlement agreement with the OFFICE of INSPECTOR GENERAL years later admitting fault and guilt and leaving its INNOCENT VINDICATED VICTIM for DEAD.) It (the confession) sits next to MY ARREST record (never having been arrested before in my life) for A CRIME that DPH committed. SO yes, I know how bureaucracy DOESN'T work!

When it comes to the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE and its false process, false hope and false HUMANITY ... look to case # 11081 where I was denied MY OWN MEDICAL RECORDS .... the issue was split off in an attempt to let it die in committee and then months later ( for an IDR) I got an ADMISSION from the other side (DPH and City Attorney) that I was correct .... YET, the MINISTRY has NOT scheduled a followup to issue a finding of "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT" for the FRAUD and MISREPRESENTATION priorly made by the city which denied me DUE PROCESS and my RECORDS and NOW SUNSHINE does NOT want to hold the WRONG DOERS accountable .... so they have tried to close the case. Yes, I know how bureaucracy DOESN'T work !

Unfortunately, there is NO WATCHDOG just a CITY SHILL ... when people use the FALSE UNPRODUCTIVE MINISTRY of SUNSHINE (How many OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT cases it has sent to ETHICS have been SHOT DOWN in HOW MANY YEARS ???) and REALIZE that it is NOT ACCOUNTABLE ... how many POOR people actually take the CITY to COURT. (I am probably the only one ... I took the city to FEDERAL COURT C02-3485PJH - and the CONFESSION proves what a FACE that was) ... NO INSTEAD the SHILL ACTION has worked quite well in this ALICE in WONDERLAND at the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE.

As a matter of fact listen to the TAPE on the MINISTRY'S website for the TASK FORCE meeting on 4/4/2012 in case # 11099 and ask about my MEDICAL RECORDS in case # 11081 ....

Naive is what "GUEST" above wants you to be ... I have laid out the FACTS and EVIDENCE of the MINISTRY'S FAILURES ... just look at case # 11081 and holding DPH and the City Attorney's "feet to the fire" regarding their INCORRECT testimony before the MINISTRY in NOV 2011 and how NOW months later the MINISTRY will not hold them ACCOUNTABLE .... talk about false process, false hope and as the GUEST above attempts to do ... is OFFER a FALSE CHOICE based on FALSE INFORMATION ... "Impeccable Service" ... I'm pecking and have the FACTS, PAPERWORK, CASES etc ... what do you have GUEST beside hiding behind NO NAME spouting FALSEHOODS.

What is TRANSPARENT is the COVERUP and SHILL action by the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 11, 2012 @ 10:26 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... YES, to GUEST on 5/15/2012 ... today there is a Compliance and Amendment Committee Hearing on case # 11081 (the denial of MY OWN MEDICAL RECORDS, the DELAY and HARM - this case was heard in Nov 2011, the GAME PLAYING of HIPAA expert - how long does it take to get one?, the NON-ACCOUNTABILITY of INCORRECT and INJURIOUS city attorney advise, and NATURALLY what consequences the Respondent side will face for the VIOLATION of the IDR, etc.) Please note that I and the respondent where informed that we did not have to show ... thereby, allowing the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE to "SWEEP under the RUG", Whitewash over the ILLEGALITIES, NOT HOLD ACCOUNTABLE the Department of PUBLIC HEALTH, not investigate the INCORRECT advise form the city attorney nor PROVIDE and DUE PROCESS to the COMPLAINANT/VICTIM ... yet, the continuation at the MINISTRY of offering FALSE HOPE, FALSE PROMISE, FALSE RESULTS and FALSE HUMANITY, Please GUEST (since I believe you are a MINISTRY member) feel free to show up and I can show you JUST HOW BUREAUCRACIES DO NOT work (especially the SHILL for the CITY - MINISTRY of SUNSHINE) ... come and see in SUNSHINE the evasion, the NO CONSEQUENCE and the GAME PLAYING and its allowance by the SUNSHINE TASK FORCE - MINISTRY of SUNSHINE with its complicit members. Come and see what I get (being DEAD RIGHT) from the PROFESSIONALS in SUNSHINE and what the GUILTY NON-PERFORMING (DPH) get. Do NOT be surprised if they are NOT there since they have NOT been at any of the followup committee hearings for my DUE PROCESS. Any questions as to whose representation is CORRECT ... come on GUEST ... come on DOWN the Next prize could be yours (ENLIGHTENMENT of your INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS) that is if you are willing to WALK the WALK or was it JUST TALK the TALK?

"Telling the TRUTH in times of UNIVERSAL DECEIT can be a REVOLUTIONARY ACT." George Orwell

Come on down or JUST listen to the audio tape (on the MINISTRY'S website when it becomes available.) The HEARING is today. If you come down ... you can hear ask the MEMBERS ... HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A HIPAA EXPERT ... remember this was in Nov 2011. Anymore questions as to how bureaucracies DON'T WORK ???? and most importantly why ...

Oh and with all of this ... ask me if Scott Wiener's office has followed up ... I can however show you all the paperwork I sent in ... shall the GAMES continue?

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 15, 2012 @ 9:35 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... in further response to GUEST ... Where were you on the 5/15/2012 Compliance and Amendments Hearing regarding case # 11081 (and its last minute scheduling on the agenda ... was this done correctly per regulation? Just a question I should ask since other regulations have been ignored) and the DISMAL FAILURE by the MINISTRY to find a HIPAA expert for HOW MANY MONTHS NOW? Yes, the members WAXED on and on about the IMPORTANCE, did NOT offer an EXPLANATION as to why to why so long for an EXPERT and their FAILURE, did not respond to the other side NOT being there and would NOT allow me to DUE PROCESS. Instead, they agreed to KEEP LOOKING ... ha,ha, ha. If you listen to the tape you'll hear where a member states that upon my continuation DPH has now changed its mind regarding releasing my records in complete CONTRADICTION to prior their INCORRECT HARMFUL testimony, their city attorney's expert advise, etc. The member stated this on the record with his assumption that JUSTICE has been served ... with naturally all the other members jumping on the bandwagon; however, the premise that JUSTICE was served is incorrect. I was illegally denied my medical records in an IDR and now as the member stated "their (DPH'S) denial has been changed" ... great, however without consequence, penalty, etc ... NO JUSTICE has been reached. Please listen to the tape and realize that I still do NOT have my medical records, the MINISTRY still has NOT found a HIPAA expert nor held accountable the OTHER SIDE for the lawbreaking activity; yet, have found it gracious enough to assure me that they will keep on looking. Call Andrea at the MINISTRY 554-7724 ... ask about case # 11081. Yes GUEST I do know how BUREAUCRACIES DON'T work and now it is the PUBLIC FILE ... see and listen to the TAPE for the HEARING on case # 11081 (NOV 2011) ... listen to the C&A tapes for the following months with me following up and listen to the "NAIL IN THE COFFIN" tape of 5/15/2012 Compliance and Amendment Hearing to see the SCREW JOB. Anymore questions? I can tell you that I still HAVE NOT received help from Mr.Wiener's office either ... would you care to see that paperwork also in this continuing FARCE?

So, as stated before ... the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE where ILLUSION and FALSE PROCESS rule, fool and dissuade ... the perfect "RISK MANAGEMENT" shill for the city ... look at case # 11081 and ask why I still do NOT have my own MEDICAL RECORDS ... you mean because I won't allow the WHITEWASH, "SWEEPING under the RUG" no DUE PROCESS, no HUMANITY to go UNCHECKED? Or could it be that I am NOT FOOLISH enough as is GUEST to spout FALSEHOODS without proof? I have mine ... listen to the tapes at the MINISTRY'S website ... go to sfgov.org, click on Agencies, click on Sunshine Task Force, click audio tapes ... remember the full task force on Nov 2011 (case # 11081) and the followup at Compliance and Amendments ... most especially the 5/15/2012 hearing.

"Telling the TRUTH during UNIVERSAL times of DECEIT is a Revolutionary Act." George Orwell

Yes, Virginia the MINISTRY of SUNSHINE is very much alive and a LIE. False process, false accountability (HOW MANY ETHICS referrals denied for "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT") and why was case # 11081 not sent up for "OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT?" Call and ask ... remember to ask again ... WHY I still do NOT have my own MEDICAL RECORDS and INVESTIGATE instead of just believing the BS that GUEST would like you so NAIVELY to fall into.

Please GUEST I await an ANSWER.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 19, 2012 @ 7:29 am

And that right there is a pretty shining example of why the task force needs reform. SF is full of lunatics, who take themselves ultra seriously who think it is the government job to listen and value each of their own pet concerns.

This thread, and to a much greater extent the other one on sunshine is full of perfect examples. Crossman, petrelis, etc.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 10:32 am

Uh, so when PG$E refused to give up documents on the San Bruno gas blast you support that the public's right to know was being defied? Wow!

Suppose you support corporate financial support of elected officials, too, plus corporate funded ballot initiatives?

Posted by Guest on May. 05, 2012 @ 2:50 pm
Posted by Greg on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

I agree with the author of this article.

I think the Sunshine Act and the FOIA are foundations of democracy. While it does make people feel entitled to information - it's awesome that they feel that way. My own experience with asking for information (usually from SFRPD) has been generally good. Olive Gong replies courteously and promptly. The information I'm looking for may not be in great shape, but that reflects on departmental record-keeping rather than the Sunshine act.

As investigative journalism gradually fades out and newspapers are beleaguered - it's these Acts that give people a chance to do their own research and investigation. I would consider them on par with the whole electoral process in maintaining the balance between the governed and the governing.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 29, 2012 @ 1:05 am

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