Opinion: Charging high fees is one way to squash open record requests

Sky-Hi News: The Granby Board of Trustees voted on Tuesday to raise its fees for public records. The hike is a modest one and will only apply if the request takes town staff more than an hour to fulfill. That seems reasonable enough to me.

Whereas public records have run $30 an hour after the first hour spent producing those documents, the town’s new fee will be $33.58 an hour. The fee is set to increase in accordance with state law. Also, the town doesn’t charge anything for the first hour of staff’s time spent producing the records.

Typically, I’m a staunch advocate for low-cost public documents. They’re hugely valuable. That’s why I believe everyone should pay as little out of pocket as possible — and have argued this with various clerks and government staff throughout my career.

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