Transparency News 7/3/18



July 3, 2018


There will not be a newsletter tomorrow, July 4. Happy Independence Day, all!


state & local news stories


Abingdon Town Council heard a request to add fees for FOIA requests Monday, its first meeting of the new fiscal year and the first for three new members elected in May. Floyd Bailey, the town’s information technology officer and FOIA officer, told the council his goal for the fees is transparency. “In the construction of this fee structure, my goal was to ensure we continue to embrace open government and freedom of information,” he said. “With that being said, I thought it was reasonable … that we should offer five free FOIA requests for every citizen.” The fee structure would allow any state citizen to submit five FOIA requests before there are charges. After that, the town would charge $15 an hour for document handling and preparation. Anyone who asks for printed copies would be charged 10 cents per copy per side. Those from out of state who make FOIA requests would be required to pay the town’s actual costs, under the fee structure.
Bristol Herald Courier

Greene County Administrator John Barkley resigned abruptly Friday evening, according to county officials. Following an executive session at 5:30 p.m., the Board of Supervisors unanimously accepted Barkley’s resignation, which was effective immediately and came nearly five years to the day of his hiring. “The board appreciates Mr. Barkley’s leadership during his tenure with Greene County,” board Chairwoman Michelle Flynn said in an email to staff immediately afterward. When asked for further comment, Flynn said, “I have no comment besides that email, as I believe it stands on its own.”
The Daily Progress


editorials & columns


Here’s my prescription for how we might either foster a bono fide third party or strengthen centrist voices in the Republican or Democratic parties. . . . End Freedom of Information Act exemptions for political parties. Okay, I admit this won’t engender third-party formation or moderate extremism in American politics. But it’s one more example of how Republicans and Democrats exempt themselves from oversight, control legislation and the electoral process, and diss citizens.
Larry Hincker, The Roanoke Times