Dear Cohasset Board of Selectmen

cc: Attorney Donald White, Secretary of State’s office

Friday afternoon, March 1, I received your estimate of the time it will take to research and pull and copy and “administrate” the public records I have requested. Double click on graphic below to see the ridiculous estimated charges. I could put a down payment on a house for that price.

Estimate copy copy
Note that I am requesting to see, not necessarily even copy, public documents. You could easily seat me at a table and let me read through some of the minutes and the e-mails. If I should require copies, I could earmark the ones I’d like or even make the copies myself.

Why should it be necessary for the illegal acting town manager to search and review the records I am requesting at his $82.41 an hour, $1.37 a minute salary? Perhaps we could find someone at an even higher salary to do this – the superintendent of schools?

I understand the Administrative Search/Review – that might be Tracy or Jen, working with me as I quickly read through public records. I could probably be done with all of it in one afternoon. Perhaps a few hours. There’s no way I want 1,860 pages of anything.

Please rethink your Bad Faith Effort to charge me as much as possible for information that is in the public domain.
In the interest of open government, all records custodians are strongly urged to waive the fees associated with access to public records. Public records that are of great interest to a large number of people must be readily available within the office of the records custodian and should be provided at a minimum cost, if any. Cohasset Opaque Town Hall is Opaque.

Examples are: minutes of board meetings, town meeting documents, warrants, street lists

And municipal financial documents.

The records custodian (not sure who that is in Cohasset these days) may charge a fee for search and segregation (redacting) of records? It states in the public records law that the hourly rate may not be greater than the prorated hourly wage of the lowest paid employee who is capable of performing the task. Is only the overly paid Milanoski capable of doing this job?

“A records custodian may not recover fees associated with record organization. If a requestor wishes to review records in the records custodian’s office but does not require copies, a records custodian may charge and recover a fee for his or her time spent searching for and redacting the records. Access to records viewed in this manner should not be denied and only minor fees associated with securing the record should be charged.”

“When must minutes of an open meeting be made available to the public? Minutes of open meetings, regardless of form, are public and must be made available in a timely fashion.” ˇhere is nothing timely about the Cohasset Board of Selectmen – the most opaque government in Massachusetts.

“There is no requirement that the minutes be transcribed or approved before they are made public. A records custodian should clearly mark all such minutes unofficial.”

Rethink this and get back to me, OK? In the meantime, I will have a chat with Attorney Donald White at the Secretary of State’s Office about your obscene estimates for public records.

Milanoski lost the election for Ted Carr in 2012 when he told the Mariner it would cost $7,000 for public records. wonder who he’ll lose it for this year.

-Tanna Kasperowicz

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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  1 comment for “Dear Cohasset Board of Selectmen

  1. Mary A. Parsons
    March 5, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    You have got to be kidding! When did the acting town manager become the ruler of Cohasset. This is sad.

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