As New Mexico politicos have all learned in the past few years, New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act doesn’t just include formal budgets and official documents. It also includes all messages exchanged through public email accounts, and emails can be far from formal. They can be quick and off the cuff and are often not intended for public consumption. And for these reasons, they can provide insights into the way public officials really feel.
I’ve been writing about the hyper-local issue of a new loop road that is scheduled to be put in at Jefferson Middle School, and the neighbors who really don’t want it. The latest development in this saga is an Inspection of Public Records request filed by neighbors, which turned up an email that one neighbor described as showing “disdain” for the neighborhood. I know I’m not the first to share this email, because my colleague tells me that the neighbors read it out loud at a city council meeting. The email is from APS capital master plan director Kizito Wijenje. Here it is:
I don’t really have any further comment about this, except that I think it presents some food for thought about email as a medium, which can feel very casual but which is, at its core, not private at all.