FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, July 25, 2008
CITY OF TOLEDO ISSUES LETTER REGARDING PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST
The City of Toledo requests that the Port Authority should produce the documents requested, as the Port Authority investigation is close to completion.
Below is copy of a letter sent to Port Authority Board Chairman William J. Carroll:
July 25, 2008
William J. Carroll
Chairman, Board of Directors
Toledo Lucas County Port Authority
One Maritime Plaza
Toledo, Ohio 43604
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Re: City’s Document Request of July 21st
Dear Mr. Carroll:
This letter is to inquire as to the status of the documents requested by the City on July 21st. We are disappointed by the lack of response to date. While the City acknowledges that a “reasonable” time is allowed for a public entity to make copies of documents requested, the City would point out that given the “investigation” being undertaken by the Port Authority and reports that that investigation is nearing finality, these records should have already been gathered for purposes of the Port’s investigation. Further, the law does require that documents be made available for prompt inspection. Accordingly, the City of Toledo believes that a reasonable time for record production has already expired. This is especially evident by the fact that you have been quoted as describing the City’s fact gathering as being “redundant”.
To the extent, however, that the Port’s investigator has requested any records that have not been sought by the City, the City now requests copies of any of those additional records. Further, the City would request all minutes, notices, notes, memoranda, correspondence, or documents related to the closed-door meeting conducted by the Port’s Board on July 24, 2008. These records should include any documents that explain the basis for such an executive session, describe the purpose of the executive session, and identify all attendees of the executive session.
If the Port is unable to produce the requested documents by the end of the day today, we will appear at the Port Authority’s offices at 1:00 P.M. on Monday, July 28th to inspect the requested information.
Please call me if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest possible convenience.
Side note: The acting director of the City of Toledo Law Department should know better than to request such information about an executive session. The only information that is public relating to the executive session is the vote of the individuals who decided to go into the session and the reason, which was to discuss personnel matters. No other information relating to an executive session is public. Maybe Acting Director Loukx should read the exclusions to the state's public records law.
Of course, District 2 Councilman Michael Collins, who's been waiting for financials for the Erie Street Market for quite some time, had a reaction and shared it with the entire press release mailing list:
Dear Mr. Loukx,
I read with great interest your letter dated July 25, 2008 to William J. Carroll, Director of the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority, wherein you demanded public records based upon a document request of July 21, 2008. Please be advised that on July 21, 2008 I also made a public records request for the financials for the Erie Street Market, from the period of January 1, 2008 thru June 30, 2008.
The specific records I requested consisted of a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. These records, as part of a normal business practice, should have been available within 24 hours. The crux of my concern is your position, as it relates to documents in which YOU requested, (and now protest), and the fact that you have not received them.
Obviously, my request does not carry the same level of importance to the Mayor and his Administration when it comes to due diligence to the taxpayers of The City of Toledo, albeit, it deals with the financial status of the Erie Street Market at this time, and in my opinion is of far greater importance than your efforts to duplicate an ongoing investigation.
I fully expect the documents requested will be in my office no later than 9am on Monday July 28, 2008.
D. Michael Collins
Councilman, District 2
Funny how important timely responses to public records requests become when it's the mayor making the request. They seem to think that 2-3 days is plenty of time for the three page/16 item request that they made for records - some going back as far as 10 years. I can't help but wonder why Acting Law Director Adam Loukx isn't jumping up and down over the nearly two months that GraphicsGuy has been waiting for a simple administrative policy...talk about something that should be readily available! Perhaps if GraphicsGuy were to file his mandamus action while news of Carty's demand was still fresh, the point might be made in a very public way???
The mayor, instead of worrying so much about his 'demand' for documents (which is to conduct a so-called 'investigation' that he has no authority to conduct), ought to pay more attention to his own administration and their habitual obstruction of access to public documents. Additionally, kudos to Collins who chose to take advantage of the mayor's impatience to make similar demands for his own request for information.
People who live in glass houses....