My experience today on gaining information

Since I was up at 3:30 a.m.  this morning, I built my draft to the Water Board. Awhile back, I attended and made a comment or two to the board regarding my concern with fluoride in the water to be ingested. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty since one of the board members was a dentist.

Spending some time, I created this draft to the board.  Link to the Google Doc is below.

However, I wanted to add an additional paragraph to give an idea of the cost of fluoridation in the public water system. During normal work hours, I made a call to Poteau Valley Improvement Authority  (PVIA), at Wister Water plant. I spoke with Julie initially, who answered the phone. She couldn’t answer my inquiry on the quantity and cost of fluoride in the water. So she provided me her manager, Don Gofforth.

Don started to answer my inquiry by throwing out some quick numbers. I learned 1 gallon of water equals 8.34 pounds of water. They pay 58 cents per pound for Fluoride, and use 7/10 pound of Fluoride per one million pounds of water. I conveyed to him, I appreciated the information and would be able to do some math with that. However, when I inquired if he had a list of what chemicals were actually added in the water, he said he did. Considering the distance, I asked if he would be willing to fax me the list.


“No? Is there any particular reason why?” I asked.

“I don’t have too, and I don’t want too” was his reply.

I was perplexed by this, but I was told I could drive down there an get the list. I could also see what they do there. Unfortunately, their office hours are 8-4:30 Monday through Friday. Not really ideal for me to take a day off work, drive 45 minutes one way to get a sheet of paper, that could easily be faxed to me.

I searched around and found the Freedom of Information Oklahoma website and was able to speak with Joey Senat. He provided me a good idea.

Pointing me to the Model Request Letter, he suggested to send the letter (providing the information) with a self-address stamped envelope. Doing it this way, would provide my request in a official manner. Additionally,  while paying for the returned envelope, there should be no reason to dismiss me or in providing the requested information.

Good idea.

I pulled the model letter down and made the neccasary revisions for my requested information.  If your wondering, I requested the cost/quantity of the chemicals in the public water, as well as the county and towns Wister provides. I sent the letter with the self-addressed envelope out today. I will update when/if I receive the requested information.

Joey wanted me to also follow-up with him on the reply. Or let him know if he again refuses the material. I emailed Joey my letter, and told him I would.

I did find it a bit interesting with the tone and rudeness by Don,  when asking for information. I would understand to be told he may not have time right now to provide the information, or a simple email/fax/letter to request such information would be ideal.  But a denial because it may make him feel powerful? I disagree with that. Especially when working in a public sector.

For information purposes below are some addresses.
Freedom of Information Oklahoma

Freedom of Information Facebook Page
Don Gofforth
Phone:    918.655.7502
Fax:    918.655.7500
Address:     25768 US Highway 270, Wister, OK, 74966
Website:    PVIA

Joey Senat
Phone: 405.744.8277

FOI Model Request Letter


About Matt Cole

Sr. Interface Analyst by day, and Writer by night. Google+| Facebook| Pinterest|Main Site|Plexus Ambassador#280147
This entry was posted in Thoughts and Purposes, Water and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My experience today on gaining information

  1. Pingback: RE: Poteau Valley Improvement Authority July 26 | Toxic Consumption

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