It’s not my job to discredit a local professional. However, upon reading about the problems with the Stivers School of the Arts Auditorium, I thought I might do a little sleuthing. First the Stivers issue from the DDN:
Those ambitions are on hold, however, as school district officials, architects, theater consultants and others work on flaws that could cost up to $2 million to fix, problems they attribute to Jeff Wray, the architect hired for Stivers’ $35 million renovation.
Then a quick trip to Montgomery County Clerk of Courts site– to do a search on Jeff Wray- and I find additional filings for problems.
Apparently, the owners of the Golden Nugget Pancake House are also suffering from a lack of seating- a loss of only 16 seats- which over the life of a restaurant is a big ($2 million) mistake.
Unfortunately- the Clerk has built the site so we can’t link to an actual docket- in violation of all web standards, and the documents are scanned PDF’s instead of ADA compliant ASCI.
Older cases don’t include accessible documentation online, but it seems that Mr. Wray has had more than a few of his projects end up in court, as well as some tax issues.
Being able to search data, being able to read it if you use a screen reader (if you are visually challenged) aren’t optional items these days- anymore than being able to sit in an auditorium or a restaurant. Access to information is power. Hiding data behind scanned JPGs of documents, not being able to bookmark the pages, are all ways to hide information from being useful.
Maybe if the Clerk followed the government standards for ADA accessibility with our PRO website, maybe no one would be excluded from the table (or the theater) because it would be easier to do our homework before we hire.
Open and accountable government requires open and available documents.