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Dallas City Manager Blocks Residents Open Records Request for Transparency

June 27, 2012

mary-suhm-sm

Dallas resident Raymond Crawford who has been active in opposing any shale gas drilling in the city of Dallas until the topic is thoroughly studied and a new ordinance is in place, has once again been blocked by the City Manager Mary Suhm’s office via the Open Records office. Previously, Crawford had filed an open records request back in September 2011 for communication records between USACE and Dallas City Hall staff led by Theresa O’Donnell with regards to conversations about Joe Pool Dam. Crawford did not receive any documents per that request until about a month ago after numerous requests and assistance from District 3 council member Scott Griggs.

When asked if he ever considered taking the City of Dallas to court due to the 9 month delay on the first request, Crawford declined comment. Federal laws dictate a 10 day time limit in which the City of Dallas must respond with an answer to an open records request. Although documents were eventually released in early June 2012 to Crawford based on the September 2011 request, he did notice that most of the information was unrelated to the Joe Pool Dam topic. He immediately filed a second request on June 12, 2012 asking for a broader range of dates, topics, and people. The second request did include Dallas City Manager, Mary Suhm, O’Donnell, staff members Bonnie Meeder, and David Cossum.

Crawford received a response from The City of Dallas on June 26, 2012 responding that before the City of Dallas would turn over any records, that the State of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott would have to approve such actions.

See the Dallas City Hall response letters below.

View this document on Scribd
View this document on Scribd

Crawford has stated that he is ‘troubled that the City of Dallas is using these methods to delay information that should be available to all residents of Dallas.’ He also stated that ‘since 2007, the City Manager, Mary Suhm has embarked on a clandestine mission to bring shale gas drilling to Dallas without the proper involvement of citizens and a strong ordinance to prevent the short and long term effects on Dallas citizens.’ Crawford is interested in reading about any conversations that may have been occurring with regards to the integrity of Joe Pool Dam since  an XTO shale gas drilling permit is currently waiting for Dallas approval. The XTO site on West Camp Wisdom Road is owned by Luminant Energy and is located within an ‘exclusion zone’ set forth by USACE. The USACE can only make recommendations for safety but not enforce the recommendations that are not located on USACE property.

“I’m very concerned that adding more seismic activity to this area of Southwestern Dallas near the Joe Pool Dam is something that everyone in Dallas should be aware, said Crawford. He went on to state, should there be a catastrophe in that area due to the other drilling activities in the area, it would then be too late to create a solution.’

The Attorney General has until July 3, 2012 to respond  to The City of Dallas request for a decision on Crawford’s request.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2012 2:37 pm

    The AG Opinion request is one several of us have experienced. The Save Winfrey Point group has several pending resolution at the AG’s office as I write.

    We need to compare notes.

  2. June 27, 2012 3:02 pm

    Forcing water into the earth at extremely high pressure may not cause seismic activity today but it can at any point in the future. And it clearly has with great loss of life and property. The Joe Pool Lake Dam is considered to have “Moderate to High Risk characteristics.” That’s all we really need to know, isn’t it?

    http://www.swf.usace.army.mil/pubdata/pao/releases/fy2012/NR12-022.pdf

    […]
    The screenings classified the dam as having Moderate to High Risk characteristics. The Moderate to High Risk classification is a result of potential embankment slope stability and erosion issues along with downstream consequences. Consequences include potential lives lost, economic, environmental, and other impacts.
    […]

    http://westchestergasette.blogspot.com/2012/06/baldwin-hills-dam-failure-in-1963.html

  3. R King permalink
    July 2, 2012 8:08 am

    Outrageous. Look at Ms Suhm’s bosses….Tthose folks want drilling here-and they want the money, the sooner the better.

  4. December 19, 2012 2:29 pm

    I hardly leave a response, but i did a few searching and wound up here
    Dallas City Manager Blocks Residents Open Records Request for Transparency Dallas Drilling’s Blog. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be simply me or does it look as if like a few of these responses come across like they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing at other social sites, I would like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Could you list of all of all your public pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

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