The bloated Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission doesn’t seem overjoyed with the Bluegrass Institute’s request last week to find out more about how it records its finances.
An open-records request was filed by Logan Morford, the institute’s vice president of transparency.
Lori Remley, NKAPC’s administrative assistant, responded with the generally helpful spirit of your typical government bureaucrat:
“Please be advised that the records you have requested cannot be provided electronically. However, pursuant to KRS 61, we would be happy to provide copies of these records at a cost of $0.10/page. If you wish to proceed with your request, I will provide the approximate copying cost. Once I have received your check, I will have the documents copied and will contact you regarding any balance due. This amount, along with any postage, will need to be paid prior to the documents being mailed to you. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.”
Very nice of you, Ms. Remley, to offer to answer “any questions.” So here are a couple:
1. If, in fact, you do not have the records in electronic form — which there is plenty of reason to doubt, since we are now well into the 21st century — then doesn’t this offer yet another indication of why this commission needs to be downsized and made efficient? (Read my Bluegrass Beacon columns about citizens’ attempts to get the future of the NKAPC placed on November’s ballot and how they ran into a local good-ol-boys (and girls, including Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe, who ruled thousands of signatures gathered on a petition to place the commission’s future before the voters) here and here.)
2. Since when should taxpayers be required to “provide a check” ahead of time before you can even begin to process a request? This is especially insulting considering taxpayers in your region already are paying three times as much in planning taxes as residents of Boone and Campbell counties. Wouldn’t you agree?
3. Why was it necessary to copy attorney Gary “Can anyone say ‘conflict of interest?’” Edmondson on the email answering our open records request. Oh, that’s right! Mr. Edmondson has represented NKAPC in his private practice even while he files suit as the county attorney to hinder civic-minded taxpayers who simply want to decide the future of their own government. But if you would allow me a follow-up, Ms. Remley: Do you think that it is ethical for Mr. Edmondson, the country attorney, to also be involved in preventing citizens who want the right to vote on NKAPC’s future to also have the agency as a client of his private law practice?
Perhaps if we send you the postage ahead of time, you could mail us an answer to that question, as well.