New Castle County Executive Chris Coons' administration has abandoned a temporary policy of charging County Council members for county documents and will let council regulate itself.Read the rest here.
Without authorization from council, the administration put the policy in place in February after Councilman Robert Weiner requested hundreds of pages of land use records and turned them over to constituents, who would normally have to pay for them. The county estimated Weiner saved the constituents at least $1,200.
A national open government advocate says New Castle County's copying costs are "ridiculously expensive" and that the FOIA polices attempt to create unprecedented hurdles for council members.
"How are you supposed to govern the county if you don't have access to information that you need to govern?" said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, Va. "Policies like that [show] they want to discourage people from coming in and bothering them."
Ken Bunting, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia, Mo., called the county's FOIA policy battle "a petulant feud, and an unfortunate one."
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Delaware government: NCCo stops charging council for records