Posts Tagged ‘public records act’

This really isn’t about fees, its about access to public records that may maintain heightened level of government transparency, and that is what the county doesn’t want!   Because, the way, I see it, “since when have we’ve been honest?”  The $50.00 per hour fee for public record retrieval would definitely be a deterent and allow a transpicuous government to be non existent.  County Officer Ray Smith, who drafted the proposal,  stated “This is a way to try and recoup taxpayer dollars spent on extensive requests that take people away from their other duties.” I don’t know how to take this, but it appears that we, the taxpayer, are an imposition and a burden on the system.  Higher fees, as the County of Riverside would like to impose, will make it difficult for the public to gather information through the public records request act.  Government services were to always be available to the public, due to the taxes.  Government abuse of the check book  has enabled them to get around increase taxes that the public would ordinarily vote down, by implementing creative fees and revenue enhancers.  These fees and revenue enhancers do not need a vote of the people.  Is it the right of government that police, the fire department and other government agencies charge the taxpayer additional fees for services they should ordinarily be receiving? Double and/or triple secret taxation without representation?  In the private sector, if a vendor cannot do the agreed upon job  according to the agreed upon fee agreement, you find someone who will.  This would be illegal because the public records act for duplication of records depends on “statutory fees”, that is, fees that are based and enacted by statute.  The fee by law should be for the “direct cost” of the duplication, nothing more.  This would fall under California Government Code section § 6253 (b).   These fees are set by Legislation not by local ordinance, this was enacted to prevent abuse.  When government tries to impose high fees for public records, this means they are hiding improprieties, this is a “red flag”.   The less access the public has due to high cost of fees the better for government.  Higher County fees such as this would be an abuse of government, who are there to for the pleasure of the taxpayer, not for themselves, and that is what I call government arrogance and a breach of their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer.

UPDATE:06/29/2011: RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERVISORS REJECT PUBLIC RECORDS FEE.

UPDATE:07/12/2011: AS STATED IN THE PRESS ENTERPRISE: “… taxpayers have a right to know public employees’ compensation. It’s taxpayers’ money.”  People forget that government and it’s personnel are financed by taxes from the earnings of the taxpayer.

 SUMMARY OF THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST ACT 2004, and GUIDE TO THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST ACT

ALSO EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT.