Saturday, December 20, 2008

Give Me Everything

Not sure what to say.

At the behest of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, state lawmakers are considering changes to Utah's government records act to discourage people from filing huge requests aimed at harassing city officials.

The tiny mountain town of Alta -- population 365 -- continues to be the poster child behind the proposed legislation. A few years back, an Alta property owner asked for every document generated since the ski haven incorporated in 1970.

"If someone is trying to find out some information, they should be able to get it in a timely and affordable manner," said Alta Mayor Tom Pollard. "But at some point there has to be some kind of trigger when it's beyond a simple request -- when it has an agenda."

To comply with the give-me-everything request, Alta hired an attorney to comb through documents to make sure no protected information got out the door.
On one hand, I would object to the tax dollars spent on such a ludicrous request, on the other hand, I am suspicious of any adjustments made to the existing request laws making it "less of a nuisance" for agencies (thus defeating the purpose of the law). In genreal, our government bodies are more than willing to provide the easy and quickly available information. It's the important, easy to bury tidbits that really matter.

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