VLCIA charging for access to agendas and minutes

How much should it cost for a citizen to get access to agendas and minutes of a tax-funded board? How does about $2 per meeting strike you?

Bobbi Anne Hancock filed an open records request for the agendas and minutes of all regularly scheduled and called meetings of the VLCIA letter asking $125.09 for copies of agendas and minutes of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority (VLCIA) from 2006 to the present, and got this letter back:

So at 12 meetings per year for five years plus another 3 months, that would be about 63 meetings, divided into $125.09 gets about $1.99 per meeting.

Is this normal practice? Let’s compare.

All available for free to the public on the web at $0 (zero dollars) per meeting.

Well, maybe that’s unfair. Those are elected councils, and besides, maybe Dasher has more resources than the Industrial Authority’s $3 million a year in tax revenue.

After all, VLCIA only has $8,379,503 net assets and it has to spend those on things like more than $17,000 for speakers for a biomass “Forum”.

How could the Industrial Authority possibly afford to put its agendas and minutes online like every municipality in the county already does?


4 thoughts on “VLCIA charging for access to agendas and minutes

  1. AlexRowell

    And the Industrial Authority does have their nice Flash-filled website; you would think it’d be nice to have public records on there to add some relevant content.
    Looking at GA public record request law, it will be interesting to see how they came up with this number. The hourly rate can’t be higher than the hourly rate paid to the lowest employee; are the Industrial Authority salaries also public record? Also, they are able to charge up to $.25 per page, but the law requires that “An agency shall utilize the most economical means available for providing copies of public records.” Who wants to bet they’re charging the maximum $.25? If so, who wants to work on selling them some more efficient printers/copiers?

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