Small Pennsylvania Township in Centre County Blames Right to Know Act for Budget Problems
December 10, 2018
Gregg Township argued that it will have a 2019 budget deficit chiefly because it is required to comply with Pennsylvania Right to Know (RTK) Act requests and chiefly from one individual.
The issue was the chief topic at a December 2018 town meeting during which the township’s secretary, also serving as the RTK officer, advised she is resigning due to the “hateful ridicule” she endured during RTK appeal correspondence.
The township reports spending almost $25,000 in man-hours and attorney fees processing the 90 RTK requests received in 2018. Sixty-six of those requests from one person. (The township received a total of 164 requests from the beginning of RTK in 2008 to 2017.
There is much more to the story you read and decide:
This observer who is a long time supporter and user of RTK notes one major problem that causes these types of problems. RTK requests cannot be submitted as questions. RTK requests can be submitted only as requests for specific and defined objects. Reports, data, records, photographs, video media, and the like that are designated by RTK as public records. Emphasis is on “specific” including a comprehensive description, date, time, title. When possible request electronic copies which most RTK officers can have converted to email attachments at next to no cost. A question is not a RTK request. Readers are encouraged to correct this interpretation if wrong.
This topic was modified 12 months ago by Watchdog7.
Controversy in Gregg Township pits activists against residents citing ‘abuse’ of RTK law
The battle continues — believing that the cost of providing open records is too expensive ($25,000), township residents ask legislators to change the Pennsylvania RTK/OR law. On the other hand some express that poor record keeping and lackadaisical procedures in semi-public subrosa township meetings created the situation.