"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.
Go to index
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. http://oudaily.com/news/2011/apr/07/open-records-fees-eclipse-costs/
Congratulations on your re-election and thank you for signing the FOI pledge.
Please provide a copy of this letter for the trustees.
Go to index
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
Go to index
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.
Go to index
May 11, 2011 TOWN OF JET 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. Sincerely; Jim Blackledge And Donna S. KellerGo to index
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.
Go to index
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 provided. 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 attorney. 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 assistants. 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 BlackledgeGo to index
Go to index