Requesting Public Records
It is important to be more involved in societal change than just posting our thoughts on social media. Shaping thoughts through social media is a good place to start, but it is not enough. When contacting public officials and leaders, it is important to be very clear what you are asking. You may have noticed in my “Please Stop Adding Cages” entry, that I stated my clear request at both the beginning and the end of the letter. After attending today’s county council meeting, below is the follow up request I sent:
Dear County Council Members and County Commissioners,
I am writing to request copies of all documents afforded to me as a member of the public via a public records request. I am not sure of the proper protocols for this request, so if it is not to ask you directly, please direct me to the appropriate person from whom I should request these records. I would like to see a copy of the following:
- A copy of the RFP for the jail project cited in today’s council meeting
- A copy of the packet of statistics provided by the sheriff’s department referenced in today’s council meeting
- A copy of the resolution passed by the county commissioners at yesterday’s hearing
- A copy of documentation of the RFP for the new jail project being posted publicly for at least thirty days and a copy of the three or more companies approached when only one bid was received to ensure public bidding law was followed
- A copy of the petition in support of the jail project referenced in today’s county council meeting
- The date, time, location, and agenda for the county council meeting at which this use of funds will be reviewed for final approval by the council
- Agendas and minutes from both yesterday’s and today’s meetings
- Any other public information available to me surrounding the facts, figures, and processes of the jail project decision
Thank you in advance for your assistance in obtaining any and all information surrounding the pending new jail project that is available to me as a taxpaying, voting resident of Delaware County. I have serious concerns about the price tag, the location, the process, and the ideology behind this pending project and want to be as informed and active in exercising my rights as a voting citizen in this project as possible.
I look forward to receiving these documents and/or hearing a response as to where I should be requesting these documents.
…probably should’ve added my last name there! 😉 As you can see, my form is not perfect. There are pieces of this process that I don’t understand (and some comma errors), but we cannot let these things stop us from being involved in the decision making process. I hope many more of you will consider writing your county council members and your count commissioners about this project.