Please Call Our Elected Officials To Keep Access To Information Accessible
Storey County Commissioner Jay Carmona recently decried The Teller and BardeBlog as the source of vexatious public record requests costing the county $100,000 in 2018 alone. He then said he and the County are considering steps to discourage the reckless behavior of the public asking to see the records we pay them to create and maintain.
Although he promised to provide evidence and facts to support his $100,000 claim, he has yet to do so. The Teller immediately published our record requests to prove our requests cost the county, at best, $125 in actual labor above the half hour allowed by Nevada Revised Statute 239.
Speaking of NRS 239, SB287 would put teeth into Nevada’s Public Record Request Law and force public officials like those in Storey County to deliver on public record requests or face civil fines. In dozens of other states, public scofflaws who disregard our requests face civil fines and jail time.
The Teller has 12 open public record requests in 2019, 8 of which are languishing behind the stone wall of District Attorney Anne Langer’s office. Most of these requests have been in her office since February. Langer promised action on all of these requests, yet she is not compelled to deliver on any of them because NRS 239 provides no incentive to do so. Lance Gilman is ignoring two of our requests outright for a total of 487 days (and counting).
SB287 would change this. It would impose a civil fine on government officials who purposefully withhold information from the public. Repeat offenders would face larger and larger fines. People like Gilman could face fines of $100 per day when they refuse to turn over information to the public.
The 80th Legislative session is coming to a close in 7 days. Governor Sisolak has indicated he will sign SB287 should it arrive on his desk. For some reason, key Democrats are preventing the bill from moving forward. If we can’t unstick 287 in the next couple of days, Gilman and Langer can continue to drag their feet. Without SB287 they can ignore altogether requests to see the books we pay them to keep with impunity.
Engage Your Elected Officials
Please contact the people below to get this bill passed in the next 7 days.
- Jim Wheeler – Jim.Wheeler@asm.state.nv.us 775-546-3471 – Storey County Assemblyman
- James Settelmeyer – James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us 775-450-6114 Storey County Senator
- Nicole Cannizzaro – Nicole.Cannizzaro@sen.state.nv.us (775) 684-1475 Majority Leader
- Julia Ratti – Julia.Ratti@sen.state.nv.us (775) 684-1433 Assistant Majority Leader
- Joyce Woodhouse – Joyce.Woodhouse@sen.state.nv.us (775) 684-1457 Finance Chair where the bill is currently stuck.
On the other hand, if you think it’s totally cool to keep our public records from us, please contact Commissioner Carmona (firstname.lastname@example.org 775-443-7699) and tell him you support his efforts to restrict access of our information and ask him to charge us to access our own records. Call Anne Langer (email@example.com 775-847-0964) and tell her you want her to continue to drag her feet on fulfilling public record requests. Contact Commissioner Gilman (firstname.lastname@example.org 775-847-0968) and tell him you encourage him to blow off public record requests outright.
Either way, make the calls.
Sam Toll – Editor