Last week, The Charlotte Observer reported on a series of Democratic National Convention-related emails from Charlotte city employees and other officials that had been severely redacted. I posted about it, too ("Peculiar Charlotte: Secrecy run amok"), poking fun at the city’s usual and predictable back-room politicking and decision-making process.
At the time, city staff insisted that it had blacked out information that was necessary to protect the security of the city during the national Democratic Party event in September.
After more pushing from The Observer, we learn today just what kind of information was so damning and top secret: The color of paint chosen for a new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters.
You hear that faint sound? Listen harder… it’s the roaring laughter of the Tampa City Council (see, "Tampa: We’re proud we’re not like Charlotte," though I’m waiting with bated breath on what they’re thinking now, ha!)
I’m still scratching my head. Why on earth would paint color be of any interest or importance to violent protesters or terrorists? Nevermind — it’s not for me to question the decisions made in Charlotte’s top-secret, closed-door, cigar-smoke-filled backroom. (Its location has yet to be un-redacted.)
Despite the pure laughable nature of the situation, Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann continues to toe the line. In a statement, he said, “While the City’s initial review may be viewed as having been too conservative, the cold hard fact is that there are those that are looking for every advantage in achieving their goal of disrupting and doing harm during the convention. The City does not apologize for being vigilant in attempting to thwart such efforts.”
Hagemann is a great guy. I’ve loved working with him in the past, whether for work at the old day job at the paper or with Pride Charlotte. But, the usually rational mind that I’ve become accustomed to in Hagemann is now spending time and energy defending the ridiculously indefensible Charlotte status quo.
Bob, don’t lower yourself to their “standards.” Come on out of that backroom, forego the cigars and join the rest of us citizens in the sunshine.
Photo: SMN, via Flickr. Creative Commons.