City Apology for Error on Top 100 Water Users List

hays water tower northEDITOR’S NOTE:  Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty issued a news release Thursday morning (see below) which apologizes for errors in a recently released list of the top 100 residential water users in Hays.

That list was distributed to various media, including Eagle Communications and Hays Post, which used the incorrect information in our news stories earlier this month. 

We have updated our news stories with the change. 
August 15, 2013

Apology for Errors on Top 100 Residential Water Users List

In June, City staff prepared a list of the top 100 residential waters users. This list was distributed to the City Commissioners as part of a water planning session. Shortly after the planning session, the Hays Daily News and Hays Post requested copies of the report. After consultation with the City Attorney, it was determined that the information was public record and therefore released.

It has come to my attention that 19 names were inadvertently placed on the list that were not in the top 100 users. The error is unacceptable and inexcusable. I take full responsibility and apologize to these 19 customers for any inconvenience that has resulted from the publication of the list with their name included. Customers who were incorrectly included on the list are:

Tom Thaemert
Scott Schneider
Ben Hammerschmidt
Michael Graham
Travis Rozean
Curt Kitson
Gerold Linenberger
Merlin Romme
Bob White
Chad Peterson
Roger Rohr
Greg Pfannenstiel
Marina Neira
Eric Schibi
Jeff Luebbers
Tim Herman
KC Western Investments
Austin Base
Adam Tabor

Again, I apologize for the error. It is unprofessional and unacceptable.

City of Hays staff has a duty to our customers to ensure errors like this are caught before they become part of the public record. I will do my best to ensure it does not happen in the future.

Toby Dougherty
City Manager
City of Hays
Phone: (785) 628-7320


  • WeeTodd

    Is your “best” really good enough? Just because it is public record, does the city have to go out of their way to have it published? Or, is it the liberal media in this town that goes out of their way to make sure it is published?

    • alexander

      Note that “Doing your job” has been redefined as “Going out of your way”
      Those darn Liberals!

      • Chris

        Yep, those darn liberals that use the right of freedom of the press. Those darn conservatives would never be up in “arms” and go out of their way about any of the bill of rights!

  • johnson

    ok, everybody mistakenly on this list gets $1 off coupons from Taco Shop.

    • WeeTodd

      Coupon MUST be activated ONLINE ONLY prior to purchase. Coupon will be valid ONLY at lunch time at the counter only on the 16th of the month, UNLESS that happens to fall on a Thursday, then it would be valid ONLY on the 17th for that month, and that month ONLY. Customer MUST pay 10.55% sales tax on the $1. Purchase will have to be authorized by the on duty shift manager before order, AND there is a 10 day waiting period while the city of Hays does a background check. Customer will also will also be required to sign a waiver, IN BLOOD, of course, giving up ALL of their rights.

      One coupon per customer per visit. NOT valid with any other offer. Customer MUST present a valid driver’s license at time of purchase. Offer void where prohibited by city manager.

      • jackson

        you forgot one other thing. customer must sign waiver never to speak ill of toby again.

  • gskeers

    maybe these people should get their money back with the apology

    • Chris

      what money would they be getting back…? Der de der.

  • Hays Resident

    I guess I don’t understand why it’s published in the first place. Is it to try and ruin someone’s image because of irresponsible water usage? Now the city of Hays looks even more stupid and selfish…LOL! This town is a joke at times and most definatly corrupt.

    • jo jo

      its published because the list was deemed public record. and if its deemed public records than everybody can see it. whether you like it or not that’s the way it is. we live in a country that has free press and that includes the city of hays.

  • Hmmmmmmm

    It’s the LIBERAL MEDIA, that is why I refuse to pay for a paper that prints gibberish.

    • Citizen of Hays

      Actually this is not the fault of the media. A persons water usage is private information, similar to cell phone usage, electrical and gas usage. The City brought forth the private information, thus making public a set of private data. Once it was brought forth the media can publish it. Did they need to? Probably not but I’m sure it was “juicy” gossip to tasty to forego. Again, the heavy water usage is based on 2012 usage, a year by any standards was one of the worst in history for heat, a year when many wells went dry, an inaccurate measure for sure of average usage for sure.

  • Citizen of Hays

    If it were illegal to use water and the people listed had broken a law, I can understand the public record comment by the City. However, it is not illegal. In addition the people using more water are paying a conservation fee as required by law. Publishing these names reminds me of the book The Scarlet Letter, about the practice of “shaming”, an archaic practice by anyone’s measure. I say shame on the City for mentioning these names in a meeting and shame on the press for perpetuating such demeaning and uncivilized practice.
    Removing names from the “shame list” now is like asking the jury to disregard comments in a trial. The damage is already done.

    • Sponge

      If the city would do their job and find more water, they wouldn’t need to be demonizing their best customers.

    • HardHead

      It. Is. Public. Information. What part of that is confusing to you?

      • Citizen Of Hays

        It’s actually highly private information, similar to how many minutes you personally use on your cell phone plan. The City chose to make public a very private issue of how much usage you have on a certain utility. How would it play out to publicize ones private use of a phone, electricity, the natural gas you use etc?

  • idontknowmuchbut!

    This comment is for the people who are ON the list. Stop wasting our limited water, I don’t care if you have a big wallet. Stop it. Thanks Hays Post for publishing the public records now I know where all of our our our watttter is going.

  • Dougie

    It was published because Hays is running out of water. I bet all of you complaining will be singing a diffrent tune about this when you have to buy bottled water.

  • Dougie

    Sounds like the city manager got wrote up… He needed it! In the last couple years he has been in more than one business in town being a jerk for no reason. He need to grow up if he is going to be in a position like this.

  • just_the_truth

    Just another fine example of how inadequate Toby Dougherty is to be city manager. This list was barely 80% correct. Its definately time for him to be fired. For the amount of $$$ that he gets paid 80% is not good enough!

  • idontknowmuch!

    I go turn on spikit spill 160000 gallon i dont care bout that water shortage me got fat wallet me dont care i win i win i have purty grass wook at my purty grass

  • Interested

    Hays is not running out of water. They are trying to stay under the metered amount they are allowed per legislation to keep from being fined by the state. Do some reading about the water battles with Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska and it will bring you up to speed with the conservation practices in place and why. Hays is perfectly fine on the water table.

    Now, pertaining to the subject at hand above. Public apology was a nice try. Fact of the matter that those names even appeared in there shows gross ignorance in our city office. In the very least, someone should have a good and proper pay dock for lack of attention to detail.

  • Did you Fact Check this

    Hays Post take a few seconds and post the whole apology instead of cherry picking a few details. To exclude things in or parts of an apology letter that was apologizing for including things that it shouldnt have is well I dont know? theres a word for this type of substandard work It will come to me give me a just a…..

    TOBY? Dont take full responsibility and then not take FULL RESPONSIBILITY. We know there was an error as you clearly point out and we know that including the 19 names on the list was “the error”. And we know who made the error and you have taken Full Responsibility for it. Unacceptable and the fact you call it unprofessional is well confusing to say the least. Unprofessional or Unprofessional Conduct to me is done by someone who is not a professional or conduct done by someone who doesn’t meet professional guidelines. I can handle people and people making mistakes or errors in the course of there work, or even just plain screwing up and being wrong. But that a far leap from Unprofessional No one is perfect, but City Managers in Hays are expected to at all times be professionals and do professional work . .

    Taking full responsibility for your conduct is commendable. And I say this broadly but we need to see more people in all facets of life take responsibility when they make inexcusable errors and not issue blanket denials or try to cover up there conduct whatever that may be. Commendable and i dont say that lightly, it is a necessary step in a situation like this that not everyone takes and to do so right out of the gate is commendable.
    You leave out the the most important parts of this apology. What “caused the error “. What conduct are u admitting to that caused these 19 names to be included on this list that I doubt you just said to yourself im going to include these nineteen extra names on the list even though they dont deserve to be on there. It obviously goes beyond a mistake in the due diligence of checking something twice or an oversight. Drawing the 19 names out of a hat and putting them on the list would be Unprofessional but again im sure that’s not it. So what did you do exactly? be specific?
    And to ensure this will never happen again what step or steps did you or do you plan to implement that would “ensure” this particular type or specific error or behavior by someone in your position will not be allowed to happen again. Youve assured us? By doing what? explain please?

    • just_the_truth

      How bout take reposibility for driving hays into the ground

  • just_the_truth

    Amazing how my first comment calling for toby doughtery’s job was deleted. Does he have them on his payroll too? He has failed as a city manager and is as corrupt as cqn be. Screw you hayspost for suppressing free speech. I neither cussed or said anything bad. Just that someone making 6 figures should be better at his job.