|Apparently everybody gets it except County Mayor
Doyle Arp. Seems he and his attorney, Bob Bowman, are the only ones who
are still clinging to his ridiculous policy. After the
scathing opinion rendered
by CTAS, there seems to still be no change in getting public
records. I have been trying for three
weeks to get the simplest request fulfilled with yet no success.
This is not the fault of subornments. Mr. Arp has apparently made it
clear to his staff that all requests must be approved by him personally.
It may be that he is just not in the office enough for anyone to gain
In light of the CTAS opinion, at least one citizen,
Ms. Pat Hunter, ask that the public
records matter be added to the agenda at Monday's commission workshop.
However Mayor Arp was again absent from the meeting and commissioners
opted not to take up the matter supposedly in the mayors absence. One
official after the meeting suggested that Arp's pet name for his
opponents "AAA" might now stand for "Arp's Always Absent".
Public records must be reopened to the public.
Below is the knoxnews story.
Legal consultant: Loudon records access proposal
By BOB FOWLER, knoxnews.com
February 28, 2007
Proposed rules for access to public records in Loudon County are too
"burdensome,'' according to a legal consultant.
Procedures and fees "seem excessive and contrary to the legislative
intent of the General Assembly,'' David Connor stated in a recent memo.
Also, Connor said, the Loudon County Commission "is without authority to
pass such a broad resolution regarding county records."
Connor is a consultant for the County Technical Assistance Service of
the University of Tennessee's Institute for Public Service.
Earlier this month, Loudon County commissioners asked for a CTAS legal
review of a proposed seven-page guideline for public records access.
County Mayor Doyle Arp issued a public records access policy days after
taking office in September, and the more detailed guidelines were
Residents and commissioners have expressed concerns about parts of the
expanded policy, including proposed fees for copies and the requirement
that a form be signed to gain public records access.
In his opinion, Connor's memo states, planned fees for copies are
The county policy would assess a sliding fee of up to $23.47 an hour for
county employees' time spent making copies.
"I would suggest that the county attempt to keep these costs as low as
possible in order not to invite a legal challenge to the fees,'' Connor
He also noted that a state appeals court has said that records access
can't be denied because a citizen "refuses to fill out a form or make
the request in writing.''
"Imposing burdensome rules and regulations in order to intimidate or
deter residents from viewing public records is unlawful,'' citizen
activist Pat Hunter wrote in an e-mailed response to the CTAS opinion.
"Mayor Arp must remember that the public records belong to the people,
not him or any other person working in government,'' Hunter responded.
Hunter and two other residents have challenged Arp's original policy in
a Chancery Court complaint that is still pending.
Arp didn't return calls Monday and wasn't in his