Have elected members of the DeKalb City Council met in violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act to discuss their approval of the DeKalb Public Library’s purchase of real estate property once occupied by the DeKalb Clinic?
Have elected City Council members given their nod of approval, in closed session, to finance the construction of a new library? Did they discuss, in closed session, whether or not they would or would not likely support a request from the Library for TIF funds to demolish and dispose of the existing buildings on the property?
While in closed session did the elected mayor and city council members indicate their support or lack thereof for proper zoning, permits, street closures, easements, etc., that were conditions of a Letter of Intent authorized in a closed session meeting of the DeKalb Public Library?
I think the public has the legal right to know the answer to the above questions. On July 15, 2010 I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the City of DeKalb to access and disseminate information regarding those questions and the legal rights of the general public.
Last night I received an email from a friend telling me to expect a letter from the City. Today (July 30) I received two letters in the same envelope.
Here’s my response to theirs.
Mr. Steve Kapitan:
Ms. Dawn C. Didier:
Thank you for your response to the FOIA I filed July 15, 2010. The purpose of this correspondence is to ask for clarification with your response letter. Attached is a pdf version of your response letter, dated July 21, 2010; and a pdf version of a response letter signed by Dawn C. Didier, Asst. City Attorney, dated July 29, 2010. I received both letters in the mail today (July 30, 2010).
On paragraph three (3) of your letter you state:
“While I agree with the Assistant City Attorney’s exemption assertion in principal I am unable to verify that the redacted information applies to this exemption since redacted information has not been provided to me. […]”
As Steve Kapitan is the registered FOIA officer for the City of DeKalb, as well as elected City Clerk, how is it that the redacted information is not available to him?
The FOIA response letters indicated that 15-cents per copy or $35.85 is the fee for copies only. If I read correctly, 5 ILCS 140(c) states that documents shall be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge, as determined by the public body, if the person requesting the documents states the specific purpose for the request and indicates that a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest. As the FOIA request purpose is to access and disseminate information regarding the legal rights of the general public then it is clear that a waiver or a reduction in fees is applicable. The maxmium fee for black and white, letter or legal sized copies is 15 cents per page. No waiver or reduction was applied.
5 ILCS 140(d) The imposition of a fee not consistent with subsections (6)(a) and (b) of this Act constitutes a denial of access to public records for the purposes of judicial review. I assume that applies to a Request for Review with the Public Access Counselor Office of the Attorney General.
Is it the City of DeKalb’s intent to deny FOIA 10-73 under 5 ILCS 140(d)?
According to 5 ILCS 140(a) When a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the public body shall furnish it in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. In the interest of paperwork reduction I request that the information from FOIA 10-73 be provided in electronic format as a CD.
Regarding the partial denial of FOIA 10-73 as outlined in paragraph three (3) in Dawn C. Didier’s response letter. I hereby request that the redacted portions of the documents requested in FOIA 10-73 be reviewed by person(s) with the authority to know whether the information withheld is in fact exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 ILCS 170/7(l)(r).
As the purpose is to access and disseminate information regarding the legal rights of the general public as related to the Illinois Open Meetings Act it is imperative that such information not include discussion or correspondence that is not exempt from the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
Please advise as to the concerns expressed in this letter, sent via email, so that I may arrange to pick up the information or pursue this matter with the Public Access Counselor.
Mac A. McIntyre
I’ll keep you posted.
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