The city's refusal to release records to journalists and other members of the public has been a slow-burning story this whole year and a major disappointment to civic boosters who expect this behavior from politicos at the state level but are disheartened to see it here in St. Louis.
Unfortunately, we predict this problem is going to get a lot worse — and weirder — before it gets better.
Thus far, the city has claimed that records that do exist don't and that members of the public who submit very narrow, specific requests are actually being hopelessly vague. We predict that the city will flip this script and begin claiming that records that don't actually exist do exist and then send us all on a wild goose chase for them. They'll start saying that requests are too specific and chastise us for micro-managing.
By the end of the year, we foresee the city getting even more creative in its evasion of records requests. People showing up to City Hall to collect documents will be shown a series of photos and must pick out which have stop lights, and then they must identify an Imo's pie among photos of various St. Louis-style pizzas.Welcome to Bold Predictions for 2023, an effort to forecast what the future holds for the St. Louis region.
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