Open records | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Open records

Posted By on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 at 6:09 AM

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is continuing to complain to the Little Rock School Board about not receiving timely and complete records of e-mails between board members and administrators about school matters, the most recent example being a rundown on storm damage on school campuses last Tuesday. The newspaper's FOI request also claims a right of inspection to all individual members' private e-mail accounts. I think their requests are generally merited, though that last part is far-reaching.  I think it's a situation, as I"ve written, that probably applies to every public body in Arkansas. The rise of e-mail has facilitated information exchanges and discussions of public business that amount to meetings of public bodies. Except that these meetings are being conducted out of view of everyone who's not privy to the e-mail. The situation needs to be studied and addressed broadly. Here, however, the interest is more narrow for the D-G. The Arkansas Blog has received some of these e-mails and the D-G has not.

If this evolves into a full-fledged legal challenge, I do hope the newspaper will treat its pet projects with equal rigor in behalf of the public's right to know. For example, take the eStem charter school to be housed in publisher Walter Hussman's building at Third and Louisiana after it is expensively refitted at taxpayer expense. Please. It has also been running a series of normally expensive ads in the Democrat-Gazette. EStem officials rarely respond to calls or e-mails from the Arkansas Times, including our requests for notices of public meetings about the school. They won't reveal the amount of money being spent on the advertising or answer any questions about who prepared the school's grammatically egregious D-G ads (one also had fractured Latin). How can they do this when they will be operating with public money? They contend they are currently only a non-profit operating without benefit of public money and thus under no obligation to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. Not a dime of public money has gone into getting this school off the ground? I don't think so.

D-G editors, fire up your FOI requests! The Roy Brooks Gang is not operating like a public school should.

Sign up for the Daily Update email


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Little Rock housing study finds linkage between respiratory-related hospital stays and property code violations

    People hospitalized for a respiratory-related illness at UAMS were twice as likely to rent a property that at some point has been issued a mold-related violation notice from Little Rock's Code Enforcement Division when compared to a control population adjusted for demographic differences.
    • May 2, 2018
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation