The release comes more than a month after The Anniston Star first asked to see a list of the city’s expenditures and revenues for 2012. The Star made that request in March, after the City Council discussed discontinuing bus service for residents with disabilities due to the cost of providing that service.
The documents released Tuesday include spreadsheets and budget projections, which appear to show projected city revenue of about $2.8 million in 2012, and a projected expenditure of about $2,700 less than projected revenue. Not all of the released documents were dated, and it was not clear at press time whether the documents represent a full accounting of the city’s revenues and expenditures.
Along with the documents, Bearden included a document titled “Mayor’s Report May 22, 2012” which criticizes The Anniston Star for what Bearden calls “intentional malicious media half-truths” in The Star’s reporting about the city’s financial status.
The released documents also include copies of a series of e-mails between a Star reporter, Bearden and City Clerk Teresa Dishman. The emails, dating back to May 8, include repeated requests by a Star reporter for the city’s budget documents.
The released emails also include Bearden’s replies to The Star’s requests.
“I was informed that you presented yourself at our offices around 4:30 pm the day of the City Council Meeting, requesting much very detailed information,” Bearden wrote to a reporter in a May 10 email included in the release. “Please be aware that our staff is lean, and at that particular time all efforts were being expended in preparation for the upcoming meeting."
A Star reporter began requesting the city’s financial information more than a month before the request Bearden referred to in the email. The reporter continued asking for the information during the week that followed.
“I believe our city clerk, Ms. Dishman, responded to you that the she did not have the corrected information AT THIS TIME,” Bearden’s email continued. “Our continued efforts are and will continue to be for the tasks at hand of the City of Weaver.”