Letter to the editor
To the editor:
CARLINVILLE (Aug. 31, 2017) – My name was listed in MCED as filing a FOIA request on Aug. 10 (“Recent FOIAs filed with the City of Carlinville”, Aug. 24). That wasn’t a formal request under FOIA guidelines, it was simply a short e-mail addressed to the city clerk asking for a file for a meeting I couldn’t attend. The file was sent to me promptly.
It would be prudent for the MCED to verify what is a FOIA request and what isn’t since publishing that information could be viewed as an intimidation tactic to attempt to limit FOIA requests to the city. We’ve already heard repeatedly how much of a hardship it is in time and resources for the city to comply with FOIA laws. I don’t deserve to be any part of that narrative (at least not in this case)!
Considering the potential for future mistakes, I would like to remind everyone that FOIA requests can be submitted completely anonymously. An anonymous e-mail can be used or a P.O. Box can be used as a return address if submitting a request by mail.
Besides that, it seems ridiculous that a citizen must request audio from a meeting in 2017. All city public meetings should be broadcast live on the internet and archived on YouTube or a similar service (including an index of timestamps of agenda items). That would be one less type of request the city would have to be burdened with.