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Thread: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

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    Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials in Ferguson, Missouri, are charging nearly 10 times the cost of some of their own employees' salaries before they will agree to turn over files under public records laws about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.The move discourages journalists and civil rights groups from investigating the shooting and its aftermath. And it follows dozens of records requests to Ferguson under the state's Sunshine Law, which can offer an unvarnished look into government activity.
    The city has demanded high fees to produce copies of records that, under Missouri law, it could give away free if it determined the material was in the public's interest to see. Instead, in some cases, the city has demanded high fees with little explanation or cost breakdown.
    In one case, it billed The Associated Press $135 an hour — for nearly a day's work — merely to retrieve a handful of email accounts since the shooting. That fee compares with an entry-level, hourly salary of $13.90 in the city clerk's office, and it didn't include costs to review the emails or release them. The AP has not paid for the search.


    Read more @: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Well.. I think its obvious. The city of Ferguson is obviously is hiding something...


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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDemSocialist View Post
    Well.. I think its obvious. The city of Ferguson is obviously is hiding something...

    Prove it.

    Prove that this isn't what they normally charge.
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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Ferguson, like most municipalities, will find any way possible to bring in more revenue.

    Surprised a Socialist has a problem with this.

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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    there are so many requests for information from so many different sources

    they dont employ people to handle that type of volume

    so they are probably charging high fees to lessen the requests

    if i was running the administration department, i would be looking for ways to lessen the strain on my budget, and my people
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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Either that or they're trying to stem the inevitable tide of requests from every one of the thousands of internet "journalists" that will be making these requests. It's reasonable to believe that they would have to hire dozens (if not hundreds) of employees to meet all the likely requests and that the cost of doing so would cause the city to go broke in a heartbeat.

    Normally I'd suggest that they simply put out a comprehensive informational packet and make it publicly downloadable but I suspect that in this particular case it wouldn't stem the tide of requests from conspiracy theorists anyway. The city is in a "no win" situation here and has to do what they can.

    Now, if these news agencies really want the information it shouldn't be too hard for them to partner up on the requests, spread the cost among themselves, and make their own copies so that everyone gets what they want.

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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    Either that or they're trying to stem the inevitable tide of requests from every one of the thousands of internet "journalists" that will be making these requests. It's reasonable to believe that they would have to hire dozens (if not hundreds) of employees to meet all the likely requests and that the cost of doing so would cause the city to go broke in a heartbeat.

    Normally I'd suggest that they simply put out a comprehensive informational packet and make it publicly downloadable but I suspect that in this particular case it wouldn't stem the tide of requests from conspiracy theorists anyway. The city is in a "no win" situation here and has to do what they can.

    Now, if these news agencies really want the information it shouldn't be too hard for them to partner up on the requests, spread the cost among themselves, and make their own copies so that everyone gets what they want.
    There's always subpoenaing the records.
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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Quote Originally Posted by PirateMk1 View Post
    There's always subpoenaing the records.
    My understanding is that these are mostly FOIA requests. It's unlikely that the media are suing for the records and if they were the legal costs would make the cost of acquiring the records totally incidental.

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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    I like how, when it comes to things like public land, water and tax money, the right is all "It belongs to the people and the people paid for it so the people should be able to keep it and use it however they want" but when it comes to public records they get all "The govt of Ferguson should charge whatever they want. It's their records!"
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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    I am surprised the FOIA is applicable, since I think there are still active investigations happening.
    I wonder what would take precedence, a FOIA, or an individuals civil rights?

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    Re: Ferguson Demands High Fees To Turn Over City Files

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    I like how, when it comes to things like public land, water and tax money, the right is all "It belongs to the people and the people paid for it so the people should be able to keep it and use it however they want" but when it comes to public records they get all "The govt of Ferguson should charge whatever they want. It's their records!"
    I doubt anyone would argue that they should charge whatever they want. The individuals in this thread seem to be explaining why this is a reasonable price, or asking what the normal price is for comparison.

    The govt of Ferguson should charge whatever is reasonable <> The govt of Ferguson should charge whatever they want.

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