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What is the Difference between Charlotte Nash and Barack Obama?

"I think going forward, it should put to rest any question about the openness."    -- Charlotte Nash

"If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."    -- Barack Obama

After months of using taxpayer money fighting an open records lawsuit to keep the public from learning how millions of taxpayer dollars had been used by the Gwinnett Chamber, Gwinnett Chairwoman Charlotte Nash decided to use Barack Obama’s strategy when addressing the public. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Ms. Nash told the press that “it should be easy for anyone looking for information” to learn how the Gwinnett Chamber’s Partnership Gwinnett PFE (PG PFE) was using taxpayer money. She even made the ludicrous statement, while continuing to fight an open records lawsuit, that she had “put to rest any question about the openness.”

She made these statements on September 25, 2013, so on September 30, I decided to file an open records request with PG PFE to obtain the emails of the 2 employees whose salaries are currently being paid by Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), using education funds in a manner that an education auditor from Georgia Department of Audits and a Senior Assistant Attorney General have said is not in compliance with Georgia law.

In response to my open records request, the attorney for PG PFE said the 2 employees whose salaries are being paid based upon a contract between GCPS and PG PFE, do not actually work for PG PFE.  That means your school district is paying PG PFE for the salaries of employees who do not even work for PG PFE. Who do these employees work for, if not the organization getting the money from GCPS? Well, according the PG PFE attorney, those 2 employees work for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, so he said they are not subject to the open records law. Read the attorney’s response in the included PDF file.

Do you see any difference between Charlotte Nash’s claim that PG PFE is open, and Barack Obama’s claim that you can keep your insurance?

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/sep/25/county8217s-economic-development-share-goes-to/

Ask Charlotte Nash to explain her claim about PG PFE being open. charlottenash@bellsouth.net

Ask Alvin Wilbanks to explain why he is using education funds to pay PG PFE for salaries of employees who do not even work for PG PFE. Alvin_Wilbanks@Gwinnett.k12.ga.us

Ask Chuck Warbington, the Chairman of PG PFE, why he is taking your tax money and claiming that PG PFE is open to the public while open records requests are being denied. chuck@gwinnettvillage.com





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Bryan Pease December 09, 2013 at 04:58 PM
If the intent of setting up the new PGPFE entity was to make tax supported records more accessible/OPEN for the public purview, then why do the County, Chamber of Commerce, and PGPFE continue to make it difficult to provide the public with requested information? The same players are still in place, still blocking access, and still spending tax-payer money without cooperative accountability. I guess these quotes from recent news accounts are simply hollow rhetoric intended to appease the masses with no actual intent to comply with the new “openness”: “Setting up a separate non-profit corporation that handles public funds dedicated to Partnership Gwinnett ensures that decision making and records will be open to the public as a matter of course,” Nash said. “Since more than a third of the funds for this non-profit corporation will come from public source, the meetings of its Board of Directors will be subject to the Open Meetings Act, and its records will be governed by the Open Records Act. We see this as the best way to avoid any future dispute about the right of the public to information.” {September 25, 2013} With funds from local cities, the county government, the school system and area community improvement districts — a total of $850,000 — directed this year to the PFE, the entity is subject to Georgia’s sunshine laws, allowing people to see how the public funds are spent. “I think going forward, it should put to rest any question about the openness,” said Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who is a member of the nonprofit board. “It has to be treated just like we keep the records of our (Board of Commissioners) meetings, so it should be easy for anyone looking for information.”{September 25, 2013} Why this concern you might ask? The County collects real estate taxes including a significant amount for the Gwinnett Public County Schools. Both the County and GCPS send tax-payer provided money to the newly formed PGPFE to work with the Chamber of Commerce to foster business growth in Gwinnett County ostensibly to create jobs, but also to grow the tax base (hence the oft quoted return on invested capital used to justify the County and GCPS giving tax-payer provided money to PGPFE and/or the Chamber). Yet, when asked to provide an accounting for the funds used to pay for two (2) employees (as set forth in an agreement between GCPS and FGPFE) the attorney for FGPFE states these two employees are not employed by FGPFE, but are instead employed by the Chamber and therefore not subject to Open Records. So let’s recap, the County gives tax-payer money to GCPS. Both the County and GCPS give tax-payer money to FGPFE. GCPS has an agreement with FGFPE that stipulates their funding is for the hiring of 2 employees to help promote growth. FGPFE says these two employees do not work for them but instead work for the Chamber. And no one is cooperatively providing any accounting for the tax-payer money that GCPS provides. Shame on you Charlotte Nash – you know better and you should demand more openness for where and how tax-payer funds are utilized!
Sabrina Smith December 09, 2013 at 07:05 PM
How funny. Partnership Gwinnett PFE is having an "open" meeting at 3:00 on Wednesday. http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2013/dec/09/open-meeting-to-be-held-about-partnership-gwinnett/ I wonder if they will answer questions such as these: 1. Why are they using taxpayer money to fight an open records lawsuit? 2. Why is GCPS paying PG PFE for the salaries of 2 employees who do not even work for PG PFE? 3. Who DOES work for PG PFE? 4. If "no one" works for PG PFE, what kind of economic development work does "no one" do for Gwinnett County and GCPS? 6. If GCPS is paying the salaries of Gwinnett Chamber employees, why did they contract with PG PFE instead of the Gwinnett Chamber? 7. Why was PG PFE formed?
Linda Pittman December 15, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Charlotte Nash sounds just like a seasoned politician. How can she possible get up in public and say: “Setting up a separate non-profit corporation that handles public funds dedicated to Partnership Gwinnett ensures that decision making and records will be open to the public as a matter of course,” Nash said. With funds from local cities, the county government, the school system and area community improvement districts — a total of $850,000 — directed this year to the PFE, the entity is subject to Georgia’s sunshine laws, allowing people to see how the public funds are spent. “I think going forward, it should put to rest any question about the openness,” said Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, who is a member of the nonprofit board. “It has to be treated just like we keep the records of our (Board of Commissioners) meetings, so it should be easy for anyone looking for information.”{September 25, 2013} If what MS. Nash stated had any credibility or truth to it, then why in the world would someone have to file a lawsuit to get the documents? Ms. Nash it's time that you step up to the plate and honor your words. You said: The entity was subject to the Sunshine law.... Then, Let's go forward and put this to rest .....HAND OVER THE DOCUMENTS! Who ever runs for the Attorney Generals position needs to step up his or her game and do something about all the Open Records Violations that are happening on a daily bases through out the state. Where is the transparency we were promised? It is apparent that Sam Olens our current Attorney General has failed us with all his promises that he made while he was campaigning for his position. No one in this state should ever have to hire a lawyer to get someone to honor the Sunshine laws. I thought that is why these laws were made in the first place.

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