Status of acquiring documents for this site

Attempt to receive digital records
Issue Explained

Request dated April 7, 2011

Answer from spokesman dated April 26, 2011

Comments from Paul Blackledge

Answer from Mayor and Clerk dated May 11, 2011

Answer to May 11 e-mail and renewed April 7 request

Blackledge - Shaw discourse on the renewed request (PDF, 4 e-mails)

Rationale for emailing electronic records

Earlier Correspondence
May 2009 Shut down of original web site

Refusal of May 2010 request (PDF)

Unanswered letter to the DA dated Oct 29, 2009

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Documents are not available at this time

The agendas and meeting minutes are not available on line. Since agendas and minutes are created by computer and word processor software I requested they be furnished by e-mail. The town council accepted erroneous advice that refused to acknowledge OS title 15 §24A.3 which defines record as follows:

"Record" means all documents, including, but not limited to, any

book, paper, photograph, microfilm, data files created by or used with

computer software, computer tape, disk, and record, sound recording,

film recording, video record or other material regardless of physical

form or characteristic, created by, received by, under the authority

of, or coming into the custody, control or possession of public

officials, public bodies, or their representatives in connection with

the transaction of public business, the expenditure of public funds or

the administering of public property.

The unofficial town attorney ignored this section and offered this conclusion:

The current procedure established by resolution 08-09-10 by this public body is incomplete because it does not provide a scheme to release software created records. Being not specifically in the Act does not excuse holding out any specific class of records.

Hopefully with more involvement of our citizens we can resolve this in the future and provide for citizens with property interests in Jet convenient access to the public records. Ask the city clerk to send you the agenda via e-mail especially if you are an out of town Jet lot owner. Having records on this site reduces the number of record requests and enhances citizen awareness.


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Open records request

April 7, 2011
To: City Clerk, Jet Oklahoma
From: Paul Blackledge
Can we find workable solution to my earlier requests for records via email?

I am requesting to receive by e-mail on a subscription basis the meeting agenda when it is posted publicly for each meeting and the preliminary meeting minutes within 7 business days after each town meeting. If you have an alternate method of supplying such software produced records I am open to such ideas.

If this request is denied, please provide a letter stating the section of law that overrides the definition of records in OS Title 51 §24A.3 #1.

Freedom of information (FOI) is a growing concern of many tax payers interested in the actions of their government bodies. The charges set up for hard copy records should be reviewed by the board. For example see the OU student newspaper article at the following site.

Congratulations on your re-election and thank you for signing the FOI pledge.

Please provide a copy of this letter for the trustees.

Paul Blackledge

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Answer to Records Request from Mitchell DeClerck Attorney Office

April 26, 2011

Paul Blackledge PO Box 102 Jet, OK 73749

Re: Request for records by email.

Dear Mr. Blackledge,

In response to your letter dated April 7, 2011 I would point out that 51 O.S. § is merely the definition of the records that are and are not available under the Open Records Act. This section does not designate any particular method by which the records that are defined as available to the public on request are to be provided.

The Act requires the Town to adopt a procedure for citizens to secure copies of those public records which are included within the definition. The Town has adopted a procedure in compliance with the statutes for citizens to secure copies of records. There is no statute that requires you or any citizen be provided records via email. If you think that there is such a statute, I would be happy to review it and advise the Board accordingly.


E. W. "Bill" Shaw

Copy to: Jim Blackledge, Mayor Box 283 Jet,Okiahoma73749

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Comment - In my humble opinion 4/27/2011

There was no response from the city clerk, mayor, nor trustee. The response which took 12 working days failed to address the issue of how does a citizen secure a record that is a computer input file as defined by Title 51 §24A.3. It rejects using e-mail for the transfer. E-mail was suggested as the next low cost means for delivering such records since the board had the public web space deleted several months ago. At present the board is still in violation of the Open Records Act by not having an at cost means of delivering these type of records.


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Answer from Mayor and Clerk dated May 11, 2011

May 11, 2011

P.O. Box 247
Jet, Ok.  73749

Paul Blackledge
P.O. Box 102
Jet, Ok.  73749

Dear Mr. Blackledge;

On the advise of our attorney in response to the e-mail request from FOI
Oklahoma, you will find a copy of the Town of Jet's policy on obtaining
records, attached.

If you have further questions you may contact our attorney Bill Shaw
direct @ 580-234-5144.


Jim Blackledge
Donna S. Keller

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Clarification and renewed April 7 request

Blackledge - Shaw discourse on the renewed request (PDF, 4 e-mails)

This was Emailed on May 11,2011

TO: Jim Blackledge, Mayor
Donna Keller, Clerk/Treas
All Trustees of the town of Jet

Jim and Donna I thank you for the attachments containing your reply to my request and the copy of the resolution that covers the guidelines for releasing records.

You still have not answered my request for records dated April 7, but it does show that you are capable of releasing electronic records via e-mail attachment.

I have already received Bill Shaw's viewpoint. The problem with the records release policy is that it excludes electronic records requests which are specifically allowed by law. With Bill's rationale you could have paper copy records on hand, but only allow records to be released in a format chiseled on stone.

So please I ask again honor my records request of April 7.

Also please review the fees charged for the hardcopy records. I believe they were set at the maximum allowed by law without considering the actual cost of releasing them. It is becoming apparent to me that the fees are being used to discourage requests for open records. See Title 51 24A.5.3b There are one or two more instances of proposed excessive charges in correspondence between Blackledge and Shaw in the town records. Also the act of deleting the public web space furnished by the town's ISP shows an attempt to discourage public access to records.

By the way, I would rather discuss this issue with trustees, but the mayor apparently prefers an attorney to be the spokesman for the trustees.

Paul Blackledge

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Earlier Experiences

Unanswered letter to the DA

October 29, 2009

Hollis Thorpe  DA District 26
300 S Grand
Cherokee OK 73728

Dear Sir,

Are files that are source to computer programs considered public
records?  My impression is that they are according to OS Title 51 
24A.3 where records are defined as so.

     24A.3:  ..."Record" means all documents, including ...  Data files
    created by or used with computer software ...

In replying to my requests, the city attorney claims that a method of
furnishing only paper copies is the only procedure that will be

See the attached copies of two letters from the attorney and the
requests to the clerk and the mayor that prompted the replies from the

If the public should have access to computer input files could you
assist in getting a procedure in place at Jet to provide them?  In the
May 2009 town meeting the city attorney suggested that perhaps a citizen
could be put on a list to receive meeting minutes by e-mail.  The data
processing center at the town has two computers and the internet.

Also attached is my wife's request for all meeting minutes from July
through September 2009.  The city clerk claimed the request was not
specific and asked for appropriate record titles.  A catalog of titles
was not furnished.  This and other incidences of reluctance to release
public records are causing unnecessary suspicion toward the trustees and

I know it takes a lot to run a town and I appreciate we have people
welling to work at it.  I believe we should encourage involvement of our
citizens as well.  It is my hope that making public records readily
available to residents and absentee lot owners will improve the
situation in rural America.

Paul Blackledge
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Open records Question Does the Jet clerk illegally deny access to the town records in electronic form? One would think so according to the Open Records Act. Click to display this file for the rationale The rationale concludes as follows:

The Jet Oklahoma municipality has records on its computer which were created by software and the Information System computer for the town includes Internet service with e-mail. The Open Records Act requires the municipality to provide at least one person for releasing public records (24A.5 #6).. The Act limits the fee to the cost of copying the records and to the cost of the transporting storage media for taxpayers seeking to determine whether those entrusted with the affairs of the government are honestly, faithfully, and competently performing their duties as public servants (24A5 #3).

Therefore requests for computer created records via e-mail should be honored because the taxpayers are already paying for the transporting storage media (Internet and e-mail) and the means to copy any electronic record (e-mail attachment).

Sample Report From Purchase Orders
This is a report from purchase orders from paper copies. Receiving them electronically would be more accurate and convenient. The scanned data required editing because sometimes a 1 was recognized as an I, 8 as B, and words were run together etc.

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