I have provided the City Clerk’s office on today’s date a thumb drive containing 931 “public record” e-mails.
As I explained in my as yet un-answered request for guidance on Friday past these e-mails are “public” by virtue of the fact that they either came from, or were directed to people employed at City Hall.
I wish to make clear these are all the public records in my possession.
This has been a most un-satisfactory process for several reasons.
- *) The EIS Ordinance was ill conceived, poorly designed and understood, and on which fundamental guidance cannot even be provided as witnessed by my un-answered request below.
- *) The EIS Ordinance was a cynical and hypocritical effort to silence critics by requiring volunteers to satisfy compliance that is ultimately impossible to verify and which Council exempted itself from.
- *) The standards imposed in the EIS Ordinance are impossible to verify as evidenced by Kisela’s comment as quoted in the News Journal after examining the Audit and Budget binders he had requested from me where in he expressed his concern that “ Noftall is not providing all public documents in his possession”
- *) Finally the double standard legal advice that is being afforded is appalling. When my binders including notes taken during A&B meetings were requested by Kisela I was encouraged to bring them on in for examination … which I did. Yet when I requested the same of Councilman Burnette the same people encouraging me to comply supplied Burnette with DCA opinions and Sunshine manual quotes advising him that his production was not required.
The practical effect of this EIS policy has turned Sunshine on its head in Port Orange from one where citizens may inquire and demand of government, TO where defeated candidates or disgraced officials may now avail of City policy to inquire and demand of its citizens or at least those citizens who serve on volunteer boards.
The potential chilling effect of that prospect on volunteer participation is real and I would encourage Council to rescind this ill conceived ordinance and rely on the wisdom of the legislature in establishing the limits for public records production in Florida.
: Ted Noftall [mailto:Ted@TedNoftall.com]
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2014 2:28 PM
To: Robin Fenwick (email@example.com); Margaret Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cc: Shannon Lewis (email@example.com); Bob Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org); Dennis Kennedy (email@example.com); firstname.lastname@example.org; Drew Bastian (email@example.com); Mayor Green (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: FW: Turning Sunshine on its head in Port Orange
Thank you for the attempt at clarity Robin,
By my understanding the only Port Orange “public records “ I possess would be those records that are “public” by virtue of the fact that they were either e-mails sent to me from the City, OR e-mails that I sent to the City. In either instance those e-mails already exist on the City servers. I have said this from the get go.
Clearly someone is looking for more than a return of what is already on the City servers, AND at that point I am being encouraged to supply anything that could be ‘construed as a public record ‘
Perhaps you or the City Attorney could render assistance by providing some examples of what might be ‘construed as a public record ‘
For example should my many grousing e-mails of the Mayor and Manager, and the e-mail received encouraging my grousing comments, be construed as public records. Some say yes IF they were written not in my capacity as a private citizen, but rather in my capacity as Chairman of the ABAB.
If you are sympathetic to that argument perhaps you could provide guidance as to, how that distinction is to be made, And the attributes of those e-mails written by a volunteer advisory board member that elevates them to the status of “transacting official business “