EID denies access to public documents

The El Dorado Irrigation District has denied access to thousands of public documents.

The installation of EID’s completely new website the overnight June 28-29 has turned off access to all public documents except the few directly available on the website. This latest move by EID’s general manager wasn’t mentioned at the June 25 Board of Directors meeting or via a famous EID press release.

Is this mega-buck stealth move mission critical for EID? Has the board lost control of its GM? Is this how a “transparent” agency works? What is EID’s “say yes” board going to do? My guess: NOTHING!

Jon Jakowatz
El Dorado Hills

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Posted by on Jul 3 2012.
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3 Comments for “EID denies access to public documents”

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  1. Update – The EID July-August Waterfront has a three paragraph story on “New EID Website for Enhanced Service and Efficiency”. The story contains no specific date for the “rollout” and fails to mention that “stakeholders and other interested parties” will lose access to massive amounts of EID public documentation. Let’s hope there is a plan to correct this lapse rather than a plan to DELETE the past.

  2. In a letter to the editor written by Jon Jakowatz on July 3 and updated on July 4th, he accuses El Dorado Irrigation District of denying access of thousands of public documents to the public as a result of the installation of our new website. He also implies that the District has been less that forthright in announcing our new website to the public.

    Mr. Jakowatz’s assertions could not be further from the truth. The facts are that we have launched a new website that will provide even easier access to all of our documents. Our website was last updated in 2006. Since that time our existing website had become outdated, from a technology standpoint, and did not allow us to communicate as effectively as we would have liked. Therefore, we created a new website that contains even more customer-friendly features that our customers have been requesting. We also have used updated technology that will allow visitors to sign up to be notified when news, meetings, documents, jobs and projects are posted to the site.

    We have migrated most of the same documents from the old website to the new one at the time of the launch and will continue to migrate more documents as we further refine our website. We did remove some older, less pertinent documents, but those, as well as others, are available to the public if they are requested via the Public Records Act process.

    Mr. Jakowatz is very familiar with the ability to access records through the public records process, as he, himself, has done so at ten times over the last two years, and we have fulfilled his requests 100 percent of the time, just as we would for others requesting information. Also, Mr. Jakowatz does not hesitate to personally contact me with questions, which are answered in a very timely fashion.

    Finally, in response to his claim that we were not being forthright about announcing our new website, that is also simply not true. It was featured prominently on the front page of the District’s July/August customer newsletter, The Waterfront, and that edition is on the front page of the new website. It is also being sent in customer’s billing statements that are being processed at this time. The new website will also be showcased at the upcoming Board meeting on July 23, which will be the first meeting since its launch.

    Mary Lynn Carlton
    Director, Communications and Community Relations
    El Dorado Irrigation District

  3. If anyone is looking for an document not currently present on the new EID web site you might want to try mine. There’s a “Reference” directory subtree rooted at http://www.sierrafoot.org/civics/fixeid/reference. It includes the most important documents dating back a few years, and I still update it periodically from the private copy on my home pc. Tonight’s update added board packets and meeting minutes for board meetings since March.

    The old web site was good, at first glance the new one looks better for a couple reasons. Navigation is simpler and easier to reach the most frequently needed web pages and files in the document library. Font size is better for iPad/iPhone reading, though it’s a bit oversize for my home pc screen. Overall, the parts of the site that I visit most often are less cluttered — the plus side of purging a fair number of old files.

    I concur with Ms Carlton’s reply. I’ve never had a problem with documents being unavailable or EID being unresponsive to requests for information. I’ve always used a philosophy of “check the web site first, if what I want to see isn’t there just ask. The phone works, email works.

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