But because that land for years hosted scrap metal recycling, questions arise about whether there are environmental contamination issues that need to be exposed.
Indiana's NewsCenter requested records of soil testing that's been conducted, but the City Legal Department turned down that request.
The City cited state code suggesting that economic development commissions are exempt from disclosure requirements, during negotiations with a commercial prospect.
I am sick and tired of this administration thumbing their nose at the citizenry. One thing the next mayor MUST DO is vastly improve on Mayor Richard's woeful closed government legacy - just embrace the idea of citizen oversight and open government principles. Work with the people in the community instead of building a consensus of elitists.
As for the commission being exempt from disclosure they are technically correct but only until the negotiation is complete. What advantage does the city get from hiding this information? As soon as the negotiation is done the tests will be public anyway. They are not in competition with anyone over this property because they have an option to buy it that hasn't expired yet.
I'd like to share the fundamental statute of Indiana's Access to Public Record's law for ALL of you involved in local government - learn it, live it, love it:
Public policy; construction; burden of proof for nondisclosure
Sec. 1. A fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government is that government is the servant of the people and not their master. Accordingly, it is the public policy of the state that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees. Providing persons with the information is an essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of public officials and employees, whose duty it is to provide the information.