Between the lines

From The Durango Herald:  Prying documents loose from city of Durango officials sometimes can include a battle of wills, fees and a lawyer on speed dial.

City Clerk Amy Phillips recently reminded department heads that they aren’t allowed to release any documents to the public unless citizens submit a written open-records request, which provides no guarantee residents will get the information they’re entitled to have, including some documents released routinely by La Plata County and the state of Colorado. Fighting for access can sometimes invite an irritable response.

“They’re more than welcome to answer any questions,” Phillips said of city employees. “If, in fact, we go ahead and have to get documents to give, then there needs to be the records request behind that, so that we keep and compile all of those.”

The policy also exists to avoid giving some documents away free, while charging others for the same information, she said.

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