Posts Tagged 'foia is good'

Why do you want public records? Because they are public.

The opening line of the Wausau Daily Herald’s article about Alderman Tom Miller’s open records request for Bill Nagle’s old e-mails pisses me off:

A Wausau City Council member would not say Wednesday why he has asked to see more than four years worth of retired City Attorney Bill Nagle’s e-mails, or what he plans to do next after his initial request was denied.

So? Who cares what he plans to do with the information? Miller has every right to request whatever he wants, and does not owe an explanation to anyone.

I get that the paper wants to find (or create) a newsworthy story, but coming at it from this angle gives the impression that the people making public records requests are the ones deserving of scrutiny, as if they are doing something wrong. There is nothing wrong with being curious about the content of e-mails that the city attorney sent, and if they contain inappropriate information then the requestor is doing us all a favor by finding that out.