What about Mike? | VailDaily.com

What about Mike?

Don Rogers

No, we’re not going to call it a newspaper, ink-on-rolls of paper as it is. It’s more Don Quixote’s spear, tilting at windmills, than anything else. Cacioppo’s quests do at times strike us as hair-brained, and quite often they’re very entertaining, especially the leisurely reports of run-ins with the cops and the court system, who handle him every bit as stupidly as the school district has in recent years.

He has a perfect right to court-test the language of the ballot measure that asked the voters to correct a cost of living flaw in the school financing regulations. We hope he’s wrong and that we can pay our teachers and other school personnel a better wage in the third most expensive county in Colorado. We’re also mindful he won his last great legal skirmish with the district after catching the school board holding a secret meeting a few years back. Ouch.

He was right on that one. He’s also right to refuse to pony up $1,700 for a records search of the school district computers. The district is a public entity, and ought to make records that don’t violate sensible confidentiality rules available to the public for the asking. Government doesn’t have the right to throw up cost as an obstacle to providing public information.

While his reason for having the computer system searched is frankly silly, not to mention a waste of time and money, he’s absolutely right to refuse to pay that kind of money for something the district is obligated to simply provide. It’s not his problem if they can’t figure out how to keep records in a fashion that’s less expensive to find later.

Government in America is supposed to be fully open – no secret meetings outside of certain specified topics, no creating unreasonable obstacles to providing public information.

Yes, he’s aggravating. He seems to care more about the nuances of our choice of words in this paper than his own in Speakout, which carries some fabulously creative spelling, grammar, reporting and speculation. One funny one was a head-scratcher about the editor’s wife being an “alleged liberal” and therefore we’d surely be compelled somehow to endorse liberal candidates for office. “No alleged about it,” she said with a hearty laugh. There’s a clue in her response. Maddening as he might be, keep your perspective.


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