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Despite earlier statement, Town of Waukesha supervisor ignores emails

More than 16,000 pages were waiting for German

Feb. 20, 2013

At last week's Town of Waukesha Board meeting, Supervisor Everett German made his intentions known.

He was going to come to Town Hall on Monday to review the 6,000 emails that were generated from his open records request on Chairwoman Angie E. Van Scyoc over a six-month period.

These emails totaled more than 16,000 pages.

The supervisor said he would arrive at 8:30 a.m. at Town Hall and stay until 4 p.m. throughout the week until he finished his review.

"I will be here with a smile on my face," German told the board. "I will stay the entire day other than lunch."

But on Tuesday, Van Scyoc said the box of emails that were being numbered were left untouched. She said German came to Town Hall briefly Monday, refused to look at them and left because he wants to take his own copies out of Town Hall.

"The emails have been waiting for him, but I don't think he wants to look at them," Van Scyoc said. "He could have looked at them right here."

Now, Van Scyoc said the emails will need to be copied and then be taken to Town Attorney Hector de la Mora for redaction which she said will cost the Town "a large expense" and more time.

Van Scyoc added that since an election was taking place this week - a primary was Tuesday - she also said the Town hired a temporary worker to sit with German when going through the emails.

"No one has kept them from you," Van Scyoc told German at the Feb. 14 Town Board meeting. "I don't understand the issue."

This ongoing struggle was again one of the centerpieces at the meeting. German has paid $4,000 for the reproduction of the 16,000 pages at 0.25 per page.

But to retrieve them out of the town's server totaled $3,571.42.

German originally said that he did not want his request to cost the town anything, but he told the board on Feb. 14 that he wouldn't pay that expense.

"I am not paying the fee for creating the copies," German said. "Because of the amount of emails you have generated."

Van Scyoc said it will go on the town's tab.

This latest development came after German said he believed Van Scyoc hid information from the Town Board on issues.

This was highlighted in a letter written by German's personal attorney, Paul Bucher, before the Town Board met Feb. 14, when it accused the Town of Waukesha of denying him timely access to the records.

Van Scyoc read the letter to the audience and board at the meeting later that night.

"I believe Van Scyoc has an agenda to deny my client timely access to the records," Bucher said in the letter.

Van Scyoc said she has followed protocol during this process and that she takes offense to that serious statement.

"His claims are false and they have no basis," Van Scyoc said. "I'm very tired of being accused of things that I haven't done. I'm dismayed by the amount of negativity. That negativity is not coming from me. I implore you (German) to work with us."

Van Scyoc added the copies of the emails have been at Town Hall waiting for German since Jan. 18.

"We have nothing to hide and we have not stalled," Van Scyoc said. "He's the one stalling."

And in an email dated Feb. 8 between de la Mora, who has been working with Bucher on this case, and Town Clerk-Treasurer Jamie Salentine, Salentine gives dates where she would have worked with German last week on his request. But the supervisor did not come in.

More hours for asst. clerk

Also at the meeting, the board voted to extend the hours of the Assistant Town Clerk Eryn Baudo’s position from 22 hours per week to 32 hours.

All but German voted for the increase.

Like he did for most of the meeting, German voted “present.”

A present vote means that the supervisor was not taking a vote on the issue, either for or against. But that individual is registering on the record that they were present when the vote was taken.

But German said he had many questions about the hours increase.

“I can’t support that,” German said. He feared it wasn’t within this year’s budget.

But Van Scyoc put that claim to rest when she said the money is already in the clerk-treasurer’s and election budgets and that there has been an increase in workload to warrant the hours increase.

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