Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Dear Robert Turner and Cathy Stepp

I sent the following e-mail to Representative Robert Turner. I sent an identical e-mail to Senator Cathy Stepp. I will share with you their responses.

Dear Representative Robert Turner,
I am concerned about the process wherein the Racine Unified teachers contract will be ratified by their union and our elected school board members prior to the public having access to the information. My concern is that this arrangement undermines the democratic process, as it prevents concerned citizens from participating in the discussion of this most important of subjects. Furthermore, I believe that it is impossible to properly represent constituents if the constituents are denied access to the very information that they may wish to discuss with their representative. It is my understanding that this process is legal because of a loophole in the open records law.
Please correct me if my understanding of this process is mistaken. If my understanding is not mistaken, I would urge you to take the steps necessary to eliminate the loophole which is undermining the very essence of representative government. Thank you for your consideration.
Denis Navratil
P.S. I will be sharing your response on my blog,, as I am sure that there are many who are similarly concerned.


TrueConservative said...

The process is called "collective bargaining" and what you call a loophole is an intentional aspect of the law. I am interested that you ask for help from the very people who most frequently use their favored exceptions to:

- secretly prepare legislation with lobbyists.

- meet behind closed doors to decide how to vote in open session.

Both of these actions are legal for legislators but illegal for locally elected officials such as school and county boards. What is good for the local governing bodies should also be good for those who serve us in Madison

Denis Navratil said...

No offense, TC, but calling this process "collective bargaining" and leaving it at that is, well, incomplete at best. Now why wouldn't I ask my state representative for clarification on state law? That I communicate with my representatives does not mean I condone the closed door meetings and secretly prepared legislation that you allege. Thanks for posting.

mindless said...

No real comment...