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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My comments at the 10/24/11 meeting

I would like to talk about two things tonight.

  1. My FOIA request from September 12, 2011 was “answered” on September 20th and a 10 day extension was taken by the district to October 4th. 
    1. On October 4th, I was “answered” with a package price of $254.95 and an estimated 250 pages at 10 cents per page, and 15 hours of staff time at $15.33 per hour with no reference to when the documents would be available to me.
    2. Requests to the district FOIA officer for a date when the documents would be available were answered with legalese citing FOIA statute numbers and a follow on answer that said, “We have responded to your request and stated that it would be granted.  There is no statute within FOIA that states requirement of when the FOIA request is fulfilled.  We are working to fulfill this request, as we have done with each prior FOIA request you have submitted.  We have consulted with our legal counsel and are in full compliance with the requirements of FOIA.”
    3. To date, I have not received the documents I requested 6 weeks ago, nor been advised when my documents will be available. 
    4. According to the Attorney General’s FOIA specialist at the State of Michigan, the district has a “reasonable” amount of time to provide the documents.  I believe that six weeks to provide 250 pages of documents is beyond a “reasonable” amount of time and I would like to know when the documents will be ready for me to pay for and pick up. 
    5. Therefore, I believe that the district is in violation of FOIA.      
  2. I wanted to discuss Missing board packet documentation
    1. Check registers –
                                                              i.      The May check register is on the 7/11/11 board packet and there is a link to it on the district’s home webpage.
                                                            ii.      September’s check register is on today’s board packet.
                                                          iii.      June’s, July’s, and August’s check registers are missing from all of the board packets and the district website.  Are there things on those check registers that the district doesn’t want the public to see?
    1. There have been missing documents from multiple board packets for presentation items, Superintendent’s updates, and reports that have been promised to be updated in emails and comments during board meetings.  However, most of the missing items were not added later and none of the Superintendent’s updates were added.
    2. Neither of tonight’s discussion items were in the board packet, although the board obviously had the data.

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