FOILed Again, and Again, and Again
by Geoff Kelly - posted 9:49 am, August 10, 2009
Good for Buffalo News editor Margaret Sullivan, calling out Mayor Byron Brown for his administration’s habit of stonewalling on the release of public records to the press.
We’ve been complaining about the problem for two years, and we published a cover story about the problem in February 2008. One AV editor was forced to FOIL minutes to a meeting of the Planning Board, which usually posts its minutes online, when the links to the minutes he needed were broken.
I had always imagined that Brown administration officials treated us more poorly than they did the News, because we’re smaller and have fewer resources with which to demand our rights under the law. I guess I was wrong.
Out of fairness, however, one city agency has always responded quickly to FOIL requests: BERC, under both Rich Tobe and his successor Brian Reilly, has never dragged out the process past deadlines, always provided the documents requested. The law department, too, under Alisa Lukasiewicz, was generally quick to respond, at least if the documents requested had been generated in the law department.